Family Gateway is a Dallas-based organization that empowers children and families impacted by homelessness. Since homelessness has recently become a significant issue that continues to be ignored by officials and politicians, the agency was selected for the article. Examining the agency’s actions will reveal the dedication that an organization has to solve social problems. The agency’s beginnings can be traced back to when Fair Park’s homeless encampments were being demolished (Colter, 2015). Family Gateway was also created to solve homelessness among black people, who are three times more likely to encounter the challenge compared to their white counterparts. Founders further noted that the federal housing policy was extremely racist, discriminating the people of color. Mortgages that were federally backed kept the black people at a disadvantage leading to long term problems like ghettoization (Truong, 2012).
Its mission and the emphasis on its core values guide Family Gateway. The mission aims at providing a stable and a life changing service to the families and the affected children by the homelessness problem. The emphasis on the core values acts as a guide to the workers conduct as they keep their energy and output well-tuned to meet the set goals. The agency underscores the importance of empowering and transforming the lives of families in a bid to achieve self-sufficiency. Children are also engaged and exposed to those opportunities that enable them to learn and grow as they establish a new legacy in their families.
Family Gateway targets has the homeless families and children as their target population particularly in Dallas County. The agency was among the 23 organizations selected to be receiving funds in the charities to be offered in 2015 (Litcher et al., 2016). The agency gives homelessness a multifaceted approach and believes that the solution to the problem can be found through a racial equity lens. With the current measures in place, the future of these neglected families is more likely to be bright again as the country works towards improving the living standards of various groups in the population.
The agency offers three major programs which are providing family and shelter, giving supportive housing and giving education to the children. In providing family shelter, the agency has made great achievements through providing approximately 30 rooms to be occupied by the families. There are various case managers that are assigned the duty of working with the families to come up with family case plans. The managers further give the families a connection to other communities that offer job training, self-care, financial literacy and parenting education. Supportive housing entails the provision of extra apartment complexes to families that may require additional form of support. Due to victims with challenges such as behavioral and cognitive disabilities, the institution offers has a program called the Permanent Supportive Housing. Supportive housing program further partners with the Dallas Housing Authority that looks into low-income families that are transferred from the shelter services to housing.
The Education and Early Childhood Education provides services such as mentoring, tutoring, giving homework assistance and recreational facilities to make the students all round. Such measures are put in place as a result of researches proving that homelessness impacts negatively on children brain development. Effective measures are put in place to identify learning difficulties with a high degree of clarity. Learning delays and difficulties in language and motor skills are therefore easily identified and addressed to make the victims maximize on the childhood education services. The criteria used to select the beneficiaries of the agencys programs is primarily driven by the income variable. Age is not a factor because homelessness cuts across various age groups.
All these measures and programs offered were of great interest to me as a professional nurse. However, the idea of having a planned giving was the most fascinating. The plan entails taking the initiative to empower those children and families that are greatly affected by homelessness in Dallas. There are various groups of individuals that one can join for making planned gifts in the agencys estate plan. The approach is a good investment plan that has many accruing benefits for the contributors and the beneficiaries in the institution. Residents are given the option to include the Family Gateway as a beneficiary in their trusts, life insurances, retirement plans and even their will. Such a policy is a bold move that proves we care for humanity especially the ones in great need of the basic human needs. Such a move further prevents the chances of developing diseases that commonly affect the homeless like tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis A, B, and C (Berman et al., 1993). These diseases are brought about by the compromised immune systems, poor hygiene and nutrition as well as the frequent overcrowding witnessed in poor housing structures by the homelessness.
Berman, S., Barilich, J. E., Rosenheck, R., & Koerber, G. (1993). The VA’s first comprehensive homeless center: a catalyst for public and private partnerships. Psychiatric Services, 44(12), 1183-1184.
Colter, C. L. (2015). Spatial inequality and academic outcomes: An analysis of neighborhood factors affecting student performance. The University of Texas at Dallas.
Lichter, D. T., Parisi, D., & De Valk, H. (2016). Residential Segregation.
Truong, S. V. (2012). Please Do Not Feed the Homeless:” The Role of Stereotyping and Media Framing on the Criminalization of Homelessness.