A $50,000 grant from the BHHS (Baptist Hospitals and Health Systems) Legacy Foundation will fund a new Save the Family of Mesa program to help homeless families transition into stable and permanent housing and address physical and mental health needs by assisting individuals navigate the lengthy Social Security Administration (SSA) disability application process.
Save the Family, in collaboration with Experience Matters, will design a sustainable volunteer-driven model for the Helping Homeless Families SOAR project “that has tremendous potential to be replicated locally and nationally,” said Save the Family CEO Jacki Taylor. “This generous grant award from the BHHS Legacy Foundation will provide homeless families the support they need to obtain critical benefits, address income and housing needs and reach their full potential. This grant is a wonderful example of the BHHS Legacy Foundation’s philanthropic mission to enhance the quality of life and health for those it serves.”
Save the Family has hired Tom McLaughlin from the Experience Matters Encore Fellows Program to manage Helping Homeless Families SOAR and guide development and implementation of the business model alongside Save the Family Chief Programs Officer Nicky Stevens.
Experience Matters matches experienced professionals with the diverse needs of nonprofit organizations. McLaughlin has more than 40 years of senior-level experience in strategic planning and management in public and private-sector organizations.
“Without access to benefits assistance programs, homeless parents with a disabling physical or mental health condition face serious obstacles in their ability to afford housing at the same time they address their health-related needs,” Taylor said. “For those with a mental illness, substance abuse issues or co-occurring disorders, the benefits application process is even more difficult, yet accessing these benefits is often a critical first step in recovery. The SOAR program is designed to mitigate or even eliminate challenges navigating the disability application process.”
Nationally, only 10-to-15 percent of homeless persons applying on their own for benefits are approved.
Save the Family projects that 40 families will be assisted in the application process during the 12-month period covered by the grant.
For more information, visit: www.SavetheFamily.org.