Family Renew Community is a housing program for homeless families in Volusia County with children. Families may stay six months or more while saving toward permanent housing and strengthening employment and life skills. We are not an emergency shelter.
The application process requests eight pages of current and background information that is verified. Applicants are interviewed and all family members 13 years and up are sent for pre-entry drug tests. If a positive test is received they are referred to agencies that provide drug counseling. Random drug testing is done during residency. If residents test positive, they are exited from the program.
This program is a choice. The family can choose to do the program or they can choose not to do the program. If they choose not to do the program, they choose to exit the program.
While living at Family Renew Community, parents must: (1) be employed [at least one parent in two-parent families]; (2) maintain a savings fund for permanent housing with a minimum of 50 percent of income deposited every payday; (3) meet weekly with a case manager and submit weekly budget sheets with receipts attached, listing all income, expenses and amount deposited into housing fund; (4) help with yard cleanup; (5) attend workshops on parenting, money management and nutrition; (6) keep children enrolled in school. In addition, apartments are inspected weekly to ensure a clean living environment for the children; parents are encouraged to obtain GEDs, enroll in college or vocational classes to increase their income potential, and enrichment activities are offered to children.
Our case management is a holistic approach – healing the whole person/family. We have found that many of our adults have been in foster care, and/or were sexually abused as children, or abused as adults, or grew up in alcoholic and/or drug environments. They are trying to cope with emotional, psychological and physical problems. Their financial problems are just a visible indication of their other needs. We collaborate with other social service agencies to provide our families with counseling.
Upon entry, the families are connected to all available mainstream benefits, such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) food benefits, Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) benefits, Medicaid and disability benefits through Social Security if needed. They must file for child support. They are referred to Mid-Florida Housing Partnership to access credit reports – a major goal for our residents is to pay down debt. If they are unemployed, they must register with CareerSource Flagler Volusia and Goodwill Self-Sufficiency Center for employment assistance. When they have small children, they are referred to Child Care Resource Network to register for a subsidized child care slot.
Financial donations and grants help provide needed client assistance for the families – child care, summer camps, emergency medical/dental, prescriptions, transportation, education.
We love our families and will do everything possible to provide them with the resources they need.