Families Helping Families is a grassroots neighborhood organization started by a Naperville mom in 1994, with the sole focus of helping families facing homelessness in DuPage County. FHF provides apartments and supportive services to families while they work to reclaim their lives.
WHO ARE THE FAMILIES?
Our adopted families are often moms and their children. who have been victims of domestic violence. Moms and dads struggle to provide housing, food, and clothing for their children. They want to become self-sufficient but lack the financial means to pay for rent and the education to obtain the kind of jobs that will allow them to provide for their families.
While the circumstances surrounding their housing crises differ, there is one universal truth — these parents are deeply concerned about their children and want to provide a better life for them.
WHAT DO THEY RECEIVE?
FHF families live in apartments in DuPage County that our program provides. The average stay is two years with quarterly goals reviewed every three months.
We gather gently used furniture, bedding, and kitchen items — all the tools needed to start a new life. Then the real work begins— helping a family move from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
The end goal of our program is for families to be self-sufficient and overcome the cycle of generational poverty and trauma.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Families experiencing homelessness, apply to FHF through Bridge Communities. Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for the program.
Housing and Eligibility Criteria:
Be homeless or at-risk
Have a work or residence connection to DuPage County
Be an adult(s) over the age of 21 with one or more children under the age of 18
Have a valid driver’s license
Pass criminal background check
Have a desire to work full time
Have no active substance abuse issues or unaddressed mental health concerns
WHAT SERVICES ARE PROVIDED?
FHF matches every family with volunteer mentors. Teams also work with a case manager and other social service professionals from Bridge Communities. Mentors complete a training program to develop skills and insights for working with families who have experienced the trauma of homelessness.
Mentors and clients meet weekly to work on financial, educational, and life goals. A major focus is managing budgets and repaying debt.
Most importantly, mentors provide guidance, encouragement, and emotional support.