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Providence House has had a 92 percent success rate since it opened to serve homeless families with children.
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The vision of Providence House imagines a community where no family is homeless.
Providence House is no stranger to the Shreveport/Bossier area. They diligently provide services to 90-plus homeless families with children every day. While we think of homelessness affecting mostly individuals, studies show that families with children make up at least 41 percent of the homeless population in the United States. Providence House has been a successful model to countless people with a 92 percent success rate since opening its doors.
Ronnie Mays says he has always struggled with being confident. The struggle to believe in himself became worse when he and his daughter were locked out of their home. Ronnie was in the midst of a divorce. He had no high school diploma and was regulated to a low paying job. With no money to pay for a hotel or obtain an apartment, a friend told him he needed to go to Providence House. Little did he know when he arrived in November of 2012 that Providence House would be the key to develop the confidence he had always longed to have.
With the help of the program, Ronnie was able to obtain his GED and complete his divorce. But Ronnie says it is the problem-solving skills he has gained that have helped him the most. “They helped me focus on my goals and not be distracted. The program gave me a better ground to stand on.” Ronnie plans to become a college student this summer with the goal of working in law enforcement.
Providence House has been instrumental in achieving many success stories. Forty-five families with children live in apartments maintained by Providence House in the Shreveport and Bossier area that become theirs when they graduate. At no charge to the families in the program, Providence House provides everything a family needs to succeed but the family must be willing to work the program in order to stay. Adults in the program invest half of their income into a personal “resettlement fund,” which is released to them upon graduating the two-year program, and they must remain drug and alcohol free. While the adults are working to build a better future for their families, the children attend the only child development center for homeless children in the state.
“We have an amazing opportunity for homeless families with children,” said Suzanne Sims, Providence House’s director of development. “Our program is designed to give them a hand up. Our staff works tirelessly to help our residents transition from the main shelter into Project Next Step (apartments in the community) with a focus on increasing education skills or work skills and experiences, in order to lead them to becoming productive members of society.”
On March 13, 11 families took the next step to independent living in Providence House’s spring graduation program at the First Baptist Church in Shreveport. Providence House celebrated the milestone of more than 400 graduates with this graduation.
For more information about Providence House, call (318) 221-7887 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
-- By Deborah Allen