Prevention

Preventing families from becoming homeless 

Homelessness is a growing issue across the United States and here in our community. Families with children are the fastest-growing segment of the homeless population. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated homelessness and poverty through challenges such as job loss, lack of access to culturally appropriate services, isolation, and difficulty accessing food and other basic needs. In addition, Portland, Maine is currently experiencing the tightest rental market in its history, making the need to keep families housed especially urgent.

 

Greater Portland Family Promise is dedicated to preventing family homelessness. GPFP partners with faith communities and other social service organizations to create a community-based response. Using a multi-pronged holistic approach of Prevention, Shelter and Stabilization, GPFP and congregations work together to provide a system of care for families.

 

GPFP staff work collaboratively with each family to help them determine a plan to stabilize their housing and safety, and to address immediate needs. The goal is to keep a family stably housed in their own housing or, if eviction is imminent, to find a new housing situation as quickly as possible. Through intensive case management, financial assistance, and ongoing housing stabilization supports, GPFP aims to prevent family homelessness.

 

Homelessness Prevention Benefits

  • Families can avoid eviction and homelessness with case management, financial assistance and on-going housing stabilization support

  • Landlords do not want to evict families; evictions are expensive for them as well

  • Prevents the trauma, disruption, and long-term economic effects of eviction

  • Prevents possible Homelessness and Emergency Shelter/System involvement

 

Intensive Case Management Services

  • Engages with landlords to support the relationship between the family and the landlord

  • Provides conflict mediation with the landlord, family, or friends

  • Connects the family with community resources

  • Conducts a housing search and helps to complete housing applications

  • Helps family to apply for and acquire benefits

  • Provides ongoing housing support mentorship

 

Examples of Financial Assistance

  • Food: grocery store gift cards and food boxes

  • Transportation costs: bus passes, gas cards, and taxi

  • Rental assistance: back rent, security deposits and first month’s rent

  • Utility payments

  • Moving costs