Home for Families was founded as The Homeless Families Foundation in 1986 by community members who believed it was unacceptable for any child to be homeless, and that the great equalizer in society was a good education. That belief continues to drive our work, but no longer fully encompasses it. We believe today that all families deserve and have the right to housing, economic and educational stability, and offer wraparound services and holistic programming that support the entire family and address the multiple systemic barriers the families we serve face in achieving stability.
HFF began operations with five modest apartments and an all-volunteer staff. Today HFF uses a Rapid Re-housing model that moves families directly into permanent housing and continues to provide case management and support until the family becomes stable. To help families address the complex factors that affect their stability HFF provides and/or connects them with: crisis intervention, literacy and basic education skill-building, workforce training and placement, parenting education, mental health/substance assessment and counseling.
In 1991 the first children’s program, a two week summer camp, was introduced. By 1994 the program had grown to a three day a week education and tutoring program. The Program has developed into a fully licensed afterschool and summer educational enrichment program for kindergarten through middle school children. The Dowd Education Center is open to all children in HFF’s housing first program and children who are at risk of becoming homeless who live in Columbus’ west side neighborhoods. In 2014, HFF added the Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids (SPARK) home visit based program to improve school readiness for children in Franklin County who do not have the opportunity to participate in traditional early learning programs.