The collaborative effort between the non-profit and the school system was enabled by a grant from the United Way of Central Maryland and will provide coaching at no-cost to help participants achieve financial stability.
Harford County families struggling to make ends meet have a new resource available: The Building Strong Families Program from The SUCCESS Project. Developed in cooperation with Harford County Public Schools (HCPS) and funded by a grant from the United Way of Central Maryland (UWCM); the coaching service is designed to enhance family stability by providing counseling and short-term monetary assistance to parents who are having financial difficulties with the goal of keeping children in their current schools. Participants also receive assistance with developing a plan to recover their economic self-sufficiency. Building Strong Families is open to those living in Harford County with at least one child enrolled in a HCPS school. The free program is now accepting referrals and applications. For more information and to enroll, visit www.theupwardclimb.org/building-strong-families.
Building Strong Families is one of the UWCM Family Stability Programs, a series of homelessness prevention initiatives which were seeded with a grant from the Siemer Institute for Family Stability and made possible by generous donors. Through The SUCCESS Project, families in Harford County now have access to the service and gain the opportunity to work one-on-one with a trained coach who will guide them through the process of setting financial goals, establishing a plan to achieve them, and connecting them with the necessary resources to restore economic autonomy and long-term security.
Participants in The SUCCESS Project’s Building Strong Families program must meet the following criteria:
- Be at risk of losing permanent housing
- Have at least one school aged child enrolled in an HCPS school
- Have an income less than 50 percent of the area’s annual median income level
- Demonstrate an ability to sustain monthly expenses
- Have financial assistance needs that can be met with available funding
- Are willing to participate in family coaching sessions and meet program responsibilities
Nicki Biggs is the executive director of The SUCCESS Project. She says, “We are thrilled to launch the Building Strong Families Program at no cost for Harford County families. This coaching model is proven to successfully avert homelessness and it directly reflects our own mission to assist struggling families with achieving long-term economic independence. By meeting them where they are right now, and providing immediate financial support, Building Strong Families enables participants to focus on the future, and we can’t wait to serve as the conduit to their ongoing stability.”
The SUCCESS Project, Inc. (TSP) was established in 2015 and is a 501(c)3 affiliate of the Havre de Grace Housing Authority. The “SUCCESS” stands for “Supporting the Upward Climb to Continued Economic Self-Sufficiency,” as the mission of the non-profit is to connect at-risk youth and low-income adults with services that teach life skills and encourage personal economic independence. Clients of TSP receive personalized life coaching and referral services as needed in the following areas: Education, Job Training, Employment Opportunities, Health Care, Parenting, Financial Education, Credit Counseling, Home Ownership, Career Advancement, Transportation, Life Skills and Entrepreneurship. All services, classes and programs are provided at no cost