Every family thriving in a permanent, stable home.
Families Moving Forward offers a temporary home to families with children in the crisis of homelessness. Working together, we create a path to stability and self-sufficiency through personalized services and ongoing community support.
Families Moving Forward (FMF) was created in 2016 after the successful merger of Genesis Home (GH, 1989) and Durham Interfaith Hospitality Network (DIHN, 1994). The recent expansion of the former GH has increased the capacity to serve more families; FMF now serves up to 75-85 families annually and approximately 160-200 children each year through our emergency shelter program, making FMF the largest housing and services provider for homeless families in Durham. We also work with families for up to one year after they move in to permanent housing to help them reach their goals of increased self-sufficiency and stable housing.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been moving away from funding long-term shelter since the HEARTH Act was signed in 2009. Pre-merger, GH provided transitional shelter and could see that future HUD funding was tenuous at best. The cost per family of long-term shelter was 3-5x higher than other available housing interventions. For the last 5+ years, the agency has been working to cut lengths of stay and transition to emergency shelter, however emergency shelters are not eligible for HUD Continuum of Care funding. Working with our partners in the Durham Collaborative to End Family Homelessness, GH and DIHN began planning for a possible merger that would consolidate two family shelter programs into one facility-based emergency shelter. While FMF now receives United Way funding, it is only 75% of prior HUD funding so the agency has an urgent need to secure new operating funds to run the emergency shelter program, adding a focus on the needs of children, as well as the growing Aftercare Program.
The HEARTH Act is based on a "housing first" approach and encourages communities to move away from managing homelessness to finding solutions that quickly and effectively end the homelessness of households in need. It makes sense to move away from directing significant tax dollars from long-term shelters & directing that funding to more cost-effective programs that quickly get people into housing. The need for shelter shouldn't consume a disproportionate share of resources. FMF has shown that it is willing to put the needs of families before the interests of the agency in reallocating its HUD funding.
We currently provide emergency shelter and supportive services to 21 families at our facility at a time. Our case management staff meets with every family to set family goals that address educational, vocational, health and emotional needs. Referrals are made to partner agencies if a family needs additional services.