Last year in Fairfax County, there were more than 2,000 homeless persons. Over 700 of them were children. While 62 percent of adults in families were employed, nearly 60 percent of these families had earnings below the poverty level, leaving a great number of families at risk for homelessness.
Family Renewal is a comprehensive program that assists families that are homeless or at threat of homelessness to achieve stable housing, prevent child abuse, improve parenting skills, enhance child health and development, learn important life skills, promote well-child care including timely immunizations and to assist isolated homeless families in developing a community support network. The program has been active for over 10 years as one of United Community Ministries many direct service programs.
Families participate in weekly parenting and educational meetings.These meetings are open to the community at large. Once a month all of the UCM Housing Programs participate in Life Skills, a program that covers a variety of topics such as budgeting, finance, debt reduction, parenting, health and legal issues. Childcare and a children's program is provided in conjunction with the parents program
Program benefits include:
- Provides a comprehensive approach to homelessness, with special attention to the needs of children.
- Thoroughly addresses the social, economic and emotional needs of the whole family.
- Facilitates the development of long-term self-sufficiency skills, which enable clients to become productive members of society and create structured, loving environments for their children.
- Encourages community involvement and community development.
- Supports parents in asisting their children achieve academic success.