We help families by providing a structured residential program in which we focus on the reasons that caused the family to be homeless and the ways to overcome the issue.
Ways to Overcome Homelessness
When a parent that comes into our program doesn't have either a high school diploma or GED, that becomes one of their first requirements. Parents can also look into furthering their education by going to college or receiving a technical certification. We have partnerships with the Adult Basic Education Program, Central Community College and University of Nebraska at Kearney to help families accomplish this goal.
Strong work ethic is an important component in ending homelessness. Parents are required to work a minimum of 30 hours a week. We look at mixing education and employment goals together in plans for families to have a livable wage once they complete the program. We work with families to educate them on having excellent employment skills and responsibilities. We are fortunate to live in a community with many diverse employment opportunities.
Once employment is found, proper budgeting is the next step. Our budgeting program is a more intense one on one program. This includes utilizing and understanding credit reports, paying off debt (communicating with debt collectors, billing agencies and comprehending billing statements). We start with some very basic skills of using the banking system properly (utilizing the old fashioned check register to know how much money we have). Teaching overall accountability for our spending and making good financial decisions are key components in ending homelessness. Families truly learn how to stretch their dollars and differentiate their needs from their wants.
Physical and Mental Health
Physical and mental health are strong contributors in the battle to end homelessness. Our families are fortunate to live in a community with many resources for overcoming mental health issues and strengthening our overall physical health. RAFT has partnerships with many counseling agencies, support groups and the local YMCA. When families feel good mentally and physically, they are able to achieve more.