‘One-Stop-Shop’ Helps Homeless After Foster Care

Screengrab of Benjamin Franklin
Screengrab of Benjamin Franklin | Image by Haven for Hope

The “one-stop-shop” model of Haven for Hope is helping homeless young adults uplift themselves after aging out of the foster care system.

Haven for Hope’s overall strategy involves providing supportive services such as counseling and job training on the same campus as transitional housing, as previously covered by The Dallas Express. The model has been credited with a 77% reduction in unsheltered homelessness in downtown San Antonio.

Showcasing an example of the model’s promises, Haven for Hope recently shared the story of Benjamin Franklin, who became homeless after turning 18 and aging out of the foster care system. He was able to find support at Haven for Hope.

“It was so devastating for me … I tried to reconnect with my family. It didn’t work out,” he said. “When I aged out, I had met kids that were on the street that were running away from foster care.”

“It was always told to you while you were in the system [that] you were either going to be homeless or dead,” he continued. “It’s so good that there’s a program [at Haven for Hope] that helps with young adults because when I was first around, I would have prayed to have something as useful as what it is now.”

He said Haven for Hope helped him obtain his legal documents, such as his birth certificate, Social Security card, and an ID. Furthermore, he said staff help young adults with resumes and finding employment.

As previously covered by The Dallas Express, Haven for Hope launched a program last year focusing on helping young adults who are homeless. The Young Adult Program specializes in the unique needs of young adults, many of whom become homeless after aging out of the foster care system.

While the “one-stop-shop” model has proven successful, it has yet to be fully implemented in Dallas. Recent surveys have found that city residents remain frustrated with homelessness, vagrancy, and panhandling and that the “one-stop-shop” strategy is favored by Dallasites.

Recently, some local stakeholders began an effort to bring this model to Dallas, but it remains to be seen whether the local government will support this effort.

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