Our families are diverse in make-up, size, age, religion and ethnicity. They share the common bonds of poverty and homelessness.
Most families have become homeless through one of three circumstances: trauma, unemployment/under-employment or generational poverty.
Family homelessness can occur without warning when a family is in distress because of a house fire, the death or sudden absence of the main wage earner, the expense of medical bills, a car accident or other unexpected circumstances.
Nearly half of American households live from paycheck to paycheck. This means that a family can fall into homelessness very quickly if the wage earner loses a job or suffers a cutback in work hours. In addition, some families become homeless because the wage earner does not make a salary sufficient to support the family. Recent statistics tell us that over 191,000 people in Shelby County live below the poverty line.
Generational poverty accounts for the homelessness experienced by many of our families. Although parents want to change life for themselves and their children, they do not possess the emotional, spiritual, mental and practical tools necessary to do so. And most often, they do not have a support system that can help them move away from poverty.
No matter what the cause of their homelessness, we welcome all families and work with them to get them into stable housing and secure employment.