The Salvation Army expands partnership with Housing First, Inc. to combat family homelessness in Coastal Alabama

Feb 15, 2023 | by Brad Rowland

The Salvation Army expands partnership with Housing First, Inc. to combat family homelessness in Coastal Alabama

Housing First, Inc., a Mobile, AL-based nonprofit whose mission is to end homelessness in southwest Alabama, has entered into an expanded partnership with The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama to help fund shelter and services for more homeless families in the area.

Housing First, Inc. has pledged $300,000 — $100,000 per year for three years — to support Family Haven. Family Haven is The Salvation Army's shelter in Mobile that provides a safe, stable environment for homeless families, including wrap-around services directed toward helping them obtain jobs and maintain permanent housing.

"Our agency has been blessed to help more people in need, and this is another way we can do that," said Derek Boulware, CEO of Housing First, Inc.

Since 2014, Housing First, Inc. and The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama have partnered to serve the homeless in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Housing First, Inc. serves as the lead agency for the Mobile area's Continuum of Care (CoC), implementation of the Coordinated Entry program (which oversees the client intake process), and the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a centralized database that helps partner agencies share data and coordinate services for the homeless population. This represents the first time that Housing First, Inc. has provided monetary support to benefit The Salvation Army's programs.

"We have always valued our relationship with Housing First, Inc., as we share the same mission of helping the homeless overcome obstacles and become independent again," said Captain Trey Jones, Area Commander of The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama. “Now, we are honored to have been selected to receive this funding and expand our long-standing partnership with Housing First, Inc."

Captain Jones indicated that a portion of the funding will be used to hire an additional case manager for Family Haven, who will assist homeless parents in the process of securing gainful employment and permanent housing.

Located in a quiet neighborhood in Mobile, Family Haven features 15 private living units as well as a cafeteria that serves three meals/day, a communal area for group gatherings, meeting rooms for classes, laundry facilities, and an outdoor playground area. The shelter's staff, assisted by volunteers from businesses and organizations, provide individualized services including classes that help parents establish goals and learn new life skills involving parenting, communication, money management, resumé creation, job interviews, and other topics critical to their future success. In 2022, Family Haven served 59 homeless families, with 70 percent successfully transitioning into permanent housing and employment.

In addition to the funding for Family Haven, Housing First, Inc. also is providing $300,000 in financial support for the Dumas Wesley Community Center's newly-established Baldwin County Family Village, which will provide transitional housing and support services for homeless women and children.

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