The goal of The Siemer Institute for Family Stability is to support families so their children can remain in the same school, giving them the best chance of academic success. The program targets neighborhoods and schools with high student mobility rates. SIFS creates long-lasting change by addressing and resolving the issues that push families to the brink of homelessness.
The program's success is based on intervention, prevention and education. Case Managers work intensively with families for up to eighteen months to create a plan for the family to become successful and to provide stability. The intensity, frequency and duration of assistance are based on the specific needs of each family.
SIFS sponsors a national network of local United Way-based, community collaborations that provide targeted families the following:
- Case management and coaching;
- Financial assistance and other material assistance;
- A Two-Generation approach to service delivery;
- Strategic partnerships with school districts and other local service providers; and
- Data driven assessments of family need and progress
Data has shown that the program has been highly successful in preventing homelessness in participating communities. Families have reported:
- Increased housing stability;
- Increased life-skills capabilities such as household budgeting;
- Increased school stability for children;
- Greater capacity to avoid another housing crisis
"Stable Families helped us through the biggest hurdles and kept us out of the homeless shelter, and my children were able to stay in their school."
Terry wasn’t one to ask for help. But when he received notice that his rental home was being sold and he would have to move, the single dad of two children with special needs was desperate. Employed part-time, Terry was struggling to make ends meet and couldn’t save enough to pay the security deposit for a new home.
Terry knew he had to do whatever it took to keep his daughter with autism and his son in their current school and out of a homeless shelter. When he found assistance through Stable Families, his program specialist worked with him to find a home in a quiet, safe neighborhood near the children’s current school. She also helped Terry set long-term goals and provided the support he needed to find full-time employment.
No longer in crisis, Terry is so grateful he looked for and found the help his family needed. “Stable Families helped us through the biggest hurdles and kept us out of the homeless shelter, and my children were able to remain in their school.”