two-woman-chatting-1311518With the everchanging landscape of what our new normal will look like, GRACE programs are continuing to make adjustments to ensure we are effectively serving our clients and community.

The comment “we never thought it would happen to us,” is often heard these days from those affected by COVID and are facing compound issues such as the lack of employment, sufficient resources, and emotional turmoil. Some are finding it difficult to have complete trust and confidence in a future that is brighter than today.

Families And Individuals Towards Hope (FAITH) is a GRACE intensive service model that navigates families on the brink of homelessness toward a promising path of self-sufficiency through measurable steps and regular accountability.

“We have always understood that some families have an uphill battle, and if we can help them with it, they can overcome and come out successful on the other side,” explained Marcela Melendez, Client Services Manager.

This idea grew out of our homelessness prevention model to help individuals reach goals that would focus on self-sufficiency.

We reserved this service for a select few cases in the past to ensure that each client receives the specialized care needed. Through this module, we were committed to providing more intensive case management guidance in employment, financial management, and getting access to resources.

However, during the time of COVID-19, we have reevaluated what self-sufficiency and stability might look like for our clients. We realize the importance of individuals being opportunity ready during these unpredictable times. With the use of case management, we provide resources to help them stay afloat and assist them in navigating changing situations caused by the current environment.

With FAITH, we are focusing on those with a more complex set of issues as a result of COVID. We hope to help prevent them from gaining massive debts, facing evictions, and other problems that would further spiral them into a problem that would take longer to recover.

FAITH clients are assigned a caseworker who does regular check-ins and helps guide them through special education or steps towards their goal. Clients understand that this also comes with expectations of completing their “homework” and working collaboratively with their caseworkers.   Clients that can finish this program can gain more stability, knowledge, and skills needed to be equipped for all opportunities that come their way.

Currently, our caseworkers are assisting more FAITH families than we ever have before. Each caseworker has a small caseload of individuals and families that they intensively manage, in addition to interviewing and assessing emergency assistance cases.

Here at GRACE, we are always committed to serving those who are vulnerable or in crisis by helping to find solutions that lead to hopeful tomorrow. With FAITH, we are concentrating our assistance to build faith and hope in a healthy community by preventing threats to housing, food, and structural security.