For 25 years HomeStretch has worked to BREAK the CYCLE of homelessness and empower parents and children to overcome their past and START FRESH! How do we do this? By giving them the time and tools they need to rebuild their lives and move forward. Our goal is not just to help the parents but to empower all members of the family.
“When a family’s needs are met, kids have a stronger support system and are more likely to have better attendance, stay on track, and meet high expectations for academic achievement… Additionally, if we engage and create lasting, systemic changes they will not only break the cycle of poverty, they will transform those communities for generations to come.”
Stephanie McLemore Bray and Thomas Bennett,
The Sacramento Bee, March 6, 2017
How do we know HomeStretch is succeeding? By looking at our children, who –
1. Go to College: This year, one resident graduate is going to Stanford University! Others are going to college, trade schools, or joining the military.
2. Succeed in School: In 2018 we expanded our in-house tutoring program. Now, professional tutors and counselors help our kids be even more successful.
3. Lead: Resident children participate in North Fulton Youth Leadership, school committees, church groups, sports, and civic clubs, to name a few.
4. Give Back: Children who were part of our program are growing up and giving back to the community. Most recently we had 3 former HomeStretch youth come volunteer with us. Talk about testimony that we can BREAK THE CYCLE!
Mentors Have a Chance To Learn from a Pro
Recently, HomeStretch invited its mentors, sponsors, and volunteers who work directly with our families to a special workshop led by The Workplace Therapist, Brandon Smith. Brandon is a leadership and workplace communication expert and teaches at both the Emory University Executive MBA Program as well as the Georgia State University Professional MBA Program. He used his expertise to help the group explore tools that lead to effective lasting connections, with a focus on affecting change using influence and persuasion. His material was relevant, challenging, and full of good humor.
During the session, the group also reviewed material from The Mentoring Manual by Julie Starr and participated in active break out groups focused on typical, but often difficult, challenges faced by those who work directly with HomeStretch residents.
This rewarding event was possible because of a generous grant from Friends for Life Foundation, Inc, part of Phi Phi Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. The Friends for Life Foundation’s mission is to support quality of life improvements for the disadvantaged in North Fulton. Thank you FFL for the gift of education for those who work so closely with our families! Also, special thanks to North Point Community Church for offering your facility for the workshop.
Want to learn more about our guest speaker? Brandon has his own podcast! He can be found at The Brandon Smith Show every Sunday at 9:30 pm on Facebook Live, and on his website at www.theworkplacetherapist.com.
Save the Date for Roswell BBQ in the Burbs!
The annual HomeStretch BBQ in the Burbs event has a new location! Join us Sunday, October 28 on the front lawn of Roswell City Hall. We’ll have great BBQ provided by some local favorites, beverages, music from the band The Free, a kids zone, and more! And the best part is you’ll help raise funds to support the HomeStretch mission. Don’t miss this community-wide party.
Please note, we’re also looking for sponsors. With its central location, this event will provide visibility for your business to those in Roswell and beyond. More details, sponsor packets, and ticket purchases can be found at Roswell BBQ in the Burbs.
Why We LOVE ATLANTA
Last month, LOVE ATLANTA contacted HomeStretch through Passion City Church to pour out their time and love onto our residents during two amazing days of service. At the end of every volunteer day, we ‘re always left with a feeling of thankfulness, but this group left us with a little more – a beautiful letter. In it, the volunteer leader expressed the group’s feelings about how HomeStretch knows ‘what it means to genuinely love a city by serving the people who live in it’. This was the ultimate compliment and we’re so glad the volunteers of LOVE ATLANTA were able to feel the passion we have for service. Thank you to LOVE ATLANTA and to Passion City Church for your time and talents. We look forward to partnering up again soon to serve our community!
Once again, HomeStretch mentors Matt and Beth Tanzy invited 10 HomeStretch kids to a very special overnight camp, Camp Lighthouse. The kids spent two nights and three days around campfires, swimming in the lake, hiking, making crafts, and having a great time. This is such a gift for the HomeStretch kids and we are grateful to the Tanzys as well as the Mt. Pisgah United Methodist Church youth group for taking special care of our families with this summer highlight.
Cheering for The Dream
Hannah Jones, the HomeStretch Youth Case Manager, was busy this summer scheduling academic tutors, camp programming, and planning Youth LifeSkills. However some of her job was just plain fun. Hannah secured a partnership with Most Valuable Kids, an organization that connects sporting event ticket donors to underserved children and families in Atlanta. Hannah and some of our families had a great time cheering the Atlanta Dream to a one-point victory on July 15th. What a treat!
New Board Members
July begins the new fiscal year for HomeStretch, marking the time we welcome new members to the Board of Directors. We’re happy to welcome Leslie Carruth, Cheryl Greenway, Byron Harbin, Martica Jenkins, Gabriel Orthous, and Peggy Shipman. We look forward to a busy year and the exciting ways our new members will add their time and talents to our work.
It Takes a Team
When approached by Jacqueline Jenna “JJ” and Kristen Vondruska about participating in a team-building project, we couldn’t pass it up! Kristen and JJ, volunteers through the Oracle Owls, took time to dive into our team dynamics, helped streamline our goals, and offered amazing team building activities. Thanks to their help, humor, and insight, we are a stronger team and feel even more inspired to continue our mission. Thank you, JJ and Kristen!