Formerly the Children & Family Program, the GREAT Youth and Families Program improves the well-being of children, youth and parents in HFI transitional shelter, permanent housing, stabilization, and prevention programs.
HFI is one of the few affordable housing organizations that provides a comprehensive out-of-school time program for youth who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless and have experienced significant academic, social-emotional, and health-related challenges as compared with their non-homeless peers.
Since 1999, the GREAT program’s after-school component has helped over 350 preschool and school-aged children to cope with the cognitive and emotional challenges that are linked to homelessness and housing instability.
Housing Families provides free transportation to the GREAT program. Children and youth pre-school age through age 18 participate in tutoring, counseling, and age-based therapeutic arts services, as well as educational advocacy services. As a result of their participation in the GREAT Program, children and youth continue to show notable academic progress, improved social interaction behavior, and increased self-esteem.
For parents, the GREAT Program offers counseling services, therapy groups, parenting classes, and stabilization services.
Parenting Skills Groups provide a safe environment for participants to discuss the challenges of being a parent. Participants exchange stories and experiences while learning effective methods of addressing the needs of both parent and child. Parents learn methods to cope and heal from their trauma and learn skills to better support their children’s developmental and life skill-building.
Women’s Groups provide a safe, confidential space for women to express their feelings, build self-esteem, and heal and grow from past traumas.
The GREAT Program’s summer enrichment component connects families to day and overnight camps and offers activities on-site for pre-school and school aged children. Children attend educational and enrichment field trips, learn about nutrition and healthy cooking, and participate in indoor and outdoor recreational and movement activities. Summer tutoring and counseling services are also available.
The GREAT Youth and Families Program empowers children, youth and parents to learn, heal, and increase their social skills and self-esteem, so that they can create a positive future for their families.