On Tuesday, June 19 HomeStretch honored both current and graduate families at our annual Family Celebration at Dunwoody United Methodist Church. Over 150 people came together to share hugs, shed a few tears, and celebrate success. We also honored two high school graduates who plan to attend college in the fall: one at Augusta State University and one at Stanford University.
This year’s theme, Turning Points, gave several families and mentors the opportunity to share moving experiences and stories of hard work:
Current resident Suzanne pointed out the kindness HomeStretch extends to participants. “You think your family will always be there to help you but sometimes they can’t,” she explained. “It’s wonderful when that help comes from HomeStretch.”
Program participant Tonya knows all about hard work. When she arrived at HomeStretch her credit score was 452. After paying significant debt, it’s now a healthy 709! “My financial and mental health have improved at HomeStretch,” Tonya shared. “And I’m proud of my son who will attend college at Augusta State in the fall.”
“By mentoring, I learned helping a family was just loving them, not saving them,” says current HomeStretch mentor Carolyn. “I’m blessed by this opportunity.”
Even former graduates like the Rhodes family were happy to help celebrate. They found it encouraging to hear others’ stories, see old friends, and meet new ones, too! The Rhodes’ remarked that the day reminded them of their accomplishments and encouraged them to continue establishing new goals and reaching for their dreams.
Over the course of this year, HomeStretch served 31 families. 14 graduating families are now in stable housing. These graduate families are the heart of the HomeStretch mission and certainly worth celebrating!
Tutors Prevent Summer Slide
All students, especially low-income children, are vulnerable to ‘summer slide’, where academic skills developed during the school year are forgotten during the summer break. HomeStretch hopes to combat this risk with an active summer tutoring program. Recently, we sat down for a Q&A with HomeStretch Youth Case Manager Hannah Jones to talk about the value of summer tutoring:
Q: Why is HomeStretch investing in summer tutoring?
A: We want to provide extra support for our families and help prevent summer slide. This will hopefully set the kids up for success during the upcoming school year.
Q: What age are the children you’re working with?
A: We serve 2nd-12th grades in both reading and math.
Q: What have you observed in the sessions that you thought was positive?
A: I’ve enjoyed watching the tutors and students build a relationship. It helps the kids academically, but also boosts their self-confidence and self-esteem.
Q: Are we still actively looking for new tutors?
A: We will definitely need more tutors during the school year. If you’re interested, email me HERE.
Did You Know…that homelessness can have a devastating effect on youth, emotionally and academically?
Can you help send our kids back to school?
HomeStretch children have a long list of supplies they need to get back to school and ready to learn. Plan to help by providing any of these items.
Elmer’s glue, Crayola crayons and colored pencils, Flash drive, Paper towels, Spiral notebooks, Graph paper, Pocket folders, Fiskar scissors.
The 2018 Roswell BBQ in the Burbs, benefiting HomeStretch, will be held on Sunday, October 28 on the front lawn of Roswell City Hall. Join us for great BBQ, beverages, music, kids zone – and raising funds to support the HomeStretch mission. You won’t want to miss this community-wide party. More details to follow soon.
Publix believes in Community Giving!
When Publix Super Markets founder George Jenkins was asked what he would be worth today if he hadn’t given so much away, he immediately responded, “Probably nothing.” His incredible legacy of giving continues at HomeStretch today. We are grateful to Publix and Publix Super Markets Charities for supporting HomeStretch in the following ways:
Peachtree Tea Sponsor
Food donor for the HomeStretch Food Pantry
Publix Serves Day where Publix associates volunteered on our property
Publix is a prime example of bringing your service mission to life. Thank you!
Welcome Sandy Springs Christian Church
We’re excited to announce our newest partner, the Sandy Springs Christian Church (SSCC) as a Family Unit Sponsor. Sponsoring an apartment for a homeless family at HomeStretch is one of the most meaningful investments an organization can make, an investment the church’s outreach committee believes in. In addition to their financial support, SSCC will also provide a financial mentor and family mentor to help the residents of their unit reach a place of stability. As for the unit itself, SSCC has big plans to transform it into a home by providing furnishings, with special attention toward making it ‘warm and fuzzy’. SSCC’s mission to ‘Connect, Inspire, and Serve’ makes their partnership a great fit for all, helping us meet our ultimate goal – permanent housing and lasting stability for each family we serve. We welcome SSCC to our family of community partners!