2000 Best Practice Awards
Best of the Best Winners: Georgia
Best Practice: HomeStretch
HomeStretch Assist Homeless Families in
Their Quest for Self-Sufficiency
Roswell, Georgia. In the words of a formerly homeless man who benefited from
the services of HomeStretch, Thank you, HomeStretch. Because of your
help, we have a new home and I have a terrific job. Thank you for restoring
my confidence in myself to be able to provide for my family.
Housing Initiative, a nonprofit, addresses
the lack of emergency, transitional and affordable housing in North Fulton
County. Through HomeStretch, a transitional housing program, staff members
and volunteers collaborate to help homeless families better manage their
lives, money and future, and help them return to housing self-sufficiency.
Recipients (c) receiving Best of the Best
award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
Each eligible family is offered a fully furnished
house with the training and service support necessary to regroup and regain
This housing program has empowered more than
150 families and 20 individuals through its counseling, financial training
and skills development services.
We work with homeless families and take
them off the streets, says John E. Smith III, executive director of HomeStretch
We take someone in desperate need of help who would otherwise turn
to the government. We take them and put them in our residency with a detailed
comprehensive program and help them get to the point where they can provide
for their families.
Each family is assigned a Family Sponsor Team
that offers support through budgeting, mentoring and provision of resourceseach
with its own sub-team. The budget team works with the family to develop
and sustain a workable budget. Using kitchen table economics,
this team of volunteers helps the families understand how to manage their
income, pay their bills and begin to reduce old debt.
The mentoring team provides emotional support,
a willingness to listen and role models for the parents and their children.
The resource team helps the family solve the
myriad problems that pose as daily challenges. The barriers include lack
of transportation, childcare, child support and the need to deal with collection
agencies. The resource team seeks solutions to these problems and advises
and guides the family through complicated social and legal challenges.
The volunteers are recruited and trained by
HomeStretch professional staff and work under the coordination of the HomeStretch
Family Coordinator and a professional social worker. The social worker develops
a detailed, tailored Goal Achievement Plan for each family. The volunteers,
representing churches and civic and corporate groups, work directly with
each family to achieve the goals.
Volunteers who identified a need for a transitional
program for the increasing numbers of homeless families in the community
started HomeStretch. These volunteers solicited financial aid from two local
churches and rented an apartment. They used the church network to solicit
furniture for the apartment and for volunteers to help maintain the house
and to work with the family. They decided to work with families with minor
children, who were working full time and free of drugs and alcohol. From
that simple beginning, the organization has grown to own 13 residences housing
nine families in HomeStretch; three families in Next Step, a State
supported transitional housing program and one family in long term affordable
The success of the HomeStretch program can
be correlated directly to the intense hands-on support that each family
receives from the group of volunteers committed to creating every opportunity
for the family to succeed.
HomeStretch benefits directly from an interlocking
array of public, private, corporate and civic partners and contributors.
With a staff of six professionals (two full-time and four part time), the
organization can only hope for success through direct support from external
partners and contributors. Public partners range from the federal level
to the local, county level.
Contact: John E. Smith III, Phone: (770) 642-9185
Tracking Number: 1461
Winning Category: Program (Community Planning and Development)
Best Practice: PASSAGE Program
"Children Are Our Future"PASSAGE
Program Prevents High-Risk Behavior in Youths
|Atlanta, Georgia. PASSAGEPromoting Alternatives, Suggesting Solutions
and Generating Excellencehas served more than 1,200 children living
in public housing developments in Fulton County, Georgia, by providing an
after-school program to support education and development and prevent high-risk
behavior. As a result, school attendance is increased, high-school graduation
rates are on the rise, and reading levels are improved. The PASSAGE program
was created six years ago by the Housing Authority of Fulton County, in
partnership with public and private organizations, to increase the school
attendance records and
Mike Halbert/Joseph Jones receiving Best of
the Best award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
grades of students who reside in public housing.
The program is located in two public housing communities in Fulton County
that serve large populations of families with children.
PASSAGE is designed for all school aged children
and focuses on both academics and recreational activities and provides many
opportunities for educational enrichment. The programs are developed through
four overall PASSAGE goals: education, socialization, career development,
and cultural awareness. Children participate in homework assistance sessions,
tutoring, and field trips to enhance and emphasize the value of education.
Computer labs on site provide the opportunity to complete homework assignments
and gain computer skills through educational software. Teambuilding, conflict
resolution, and peer mediation techniques are also a component of the program
that teaches interpersonal and socialization skills.
Career Development in the PASSAGE program
is emphasized early, while students are still in middle school, and focuses
participants on what goals they want to accomplish after high school. Students
are exposed to career opportunities, such as business or the military,
and learn about the levels of education and skills required to achieve their
goals. Cultural Awareness is promoted through a variety of ways, including
outside activities recognizing the arts.
PASSAGE works in partnership with several
community organizations to provide services to its participants. Organizations
include the local school district, the Fulton County Parks and Recreation
Department, and health department. Tutors for the after school programs
are teachers in the school district, which maintains consistency between
what the students are learning in school and in the program. The schools
also track and monitor the participants progress in school.
The program is funded primarily through the
Fulton County Housing Authority but receives grant funding for certain programs,
such as through the HUD Drug Elimination grants and the Georgia Department
of Educations Reading Challenge program.
Since its implementation, the impact of this
program in the public housing community has been tremendous. School attendance
rates, report grades, and graduation rates have improved, on average, 75
percent. There has also been an increase in students attending post-secondary
Contact: Bettye A. Davis, Phone: (404) 730-5842
Tracking Number: 2319
Winning Category: Program (Public and Indian Housing)
Best Practice: Hampton East Mixed Use
Hampton East DevelopmentProvided
Homes After the Flood
Albany, Georgia. Helping a community rebuild housing after a natural disaster
is one of the first goals for local, state and governmental agencies. Finding
the most effective and creative way to address the needs of the distressed
community is the biggest challenge. The needs may vary from community to
community and range from repair efforts on some homes to total replacement
Hampton East is a development in Albany, Georgia
that was created as a replacement for the unprecedented number of low- to
moderate-income homes that were destroyed in a 1994 flood. The flood
Recipients (c) receiving Best of the Best
award from Secretary Cuomo (l) and Deputy Secretary Ramirez (r)
damaged 5,805 housing units, or 23 percent
of the housing units in the Albany area. Approximately 90 acres of mostly
vacant land was developed to provide modern, affordable housing for an estimated
200 low- and moderate-income families, some of whom were flood victims.
These were homes that were deemed in fair to substan-dard condition before
the flood making repair efforts difficult. Many of the homes were rental
properties. The most effective option was to replace the homes instead of
focusing on repair efforts.
Hampton East also sought to address the entire
needs of the community. Although housing was the most immediate need for
the residents, the previous community lacked the necessary support services
for its residents. This planned community provides, not only affordable
housing, a daycare center, recreation facilities, and a shopping center
but small business development opportunities as well. Residents of the new
community also are included in the planning process for their new home.
Qualified applicants can select a home plan and construct it with financing
provided by local banks and the citys Affordable Home Ownership Program.
Hampton East can be a model for combined-use subdivision development. It
is an ideal program for communities in need of quality housing in low- to
moderate-income areas with available affordable land. Cooperation between
local planning and construction boards and agencies, local residents and
businesses, as well as funding from private and public agencies is key.
An essential component of this program is the housing counseling sessions
offered to participants to ensure permanent placement in the homes.
Although Hampton East was developed to address
the specific need for housing after a natural disaster, the program went
above and beyond the call for replacement housing. Hampton East saw the
lack of community services in the poorer areas and decided to build those
Contact: Rudolf Goddard, Phone: (912) 430-5283
Tracking Number: 2193
Winning Category: Geographic
Best Practice: The Pavilion at Campbell-Stone
The Pavilion at Campbell-Stone Apartments
Meet the Needs of Alzheimers Residents
Atlanta, Georgia. As more and more of the senior residents at the Campbell-Stone
Apartments began to face heightened complications and challenges associated
with aging, the communitys Steering Committee came up with a pie-in-the-sky
solution to what they saw as an increasing problem for residents. They wanted
to add an additional facility to the two-building complex to provide full
assisted living services for residents suffering from Alzheimers
The partially-Section 8-assisted complex converted
one wing to assisted living in 1995, but the complications of developing
a full-service Alzheimers assisted living center were daunting. There
were many hurdles to overcome due to the uniqueness of the conceptadding
a new facility to an existing HUD-assisted facility. Major hurdles included:
1) Need to raise equity of fund cash requirements; 2) Partial release of
land, air, and utility rights from old facility to the new facility; 3)
Alterations and modifications to the existing facility and attaching a new
facility to the existing one; 4) Conversion of residential units; 5) High
construction costs; and 6) Joint use management agreements to facilitate
the co-existence of the two facilities. Despite the many technical complications,
the Steering Committee acted on their plan to create the unique facility.
Campbell-Stone began a capital campaign in
1995, and early in 1996 met with HUDs Atlanta office and the Atlanta
Alzheimers Association, Area Agency on Aging, Piedmont Hospital, and
the Georgia Association of Homes and Services for the Aging. HUD offered
the feasibility of building the facility with the Section 232 program, and
the Steering Committee approved a plan for 48 assisted living units. The
group engaged the services of Continental Wingate as the lender, and after
many meetings between the sponsor, lender, and HUD. HUD issued a formal
invitation to Continental-Wingate to submit an application for the Alzheimers
facility to be called Pavilion at Campbell-Stone.
The project was financed with Tax-Exempt Bonds (non-profit elderly revenue
bonds) issued by the Development Authority of Fulton County, Georgia, insured
under HUDs Section 232 Program. Additional funds for closing costs
were generated through the sale at a premium of tax-exempt bonds. The
new facility held a grand opening in the Fall of 1999 and occupancy has
The Pavilion at Campbell-Stone demonstrated
the ability of a HUD-assisted facility to find ways to change along with
the needs of its residents, and the ability to overcome obstacles to continue
to serve residents as their needs increase. By identifying their needs,
and then working with HUD and appropriate outside partners, the group found
a way to exercise creativity within the bounds of the program and realize
the dream of the new facility. As a result, the new facility provides an
easier transition for residents of Campbell-Stone Apartments as complications
from aging demand a higher level of care. The project also meets a
growing demand for quality facilities dedicated to the care of persons suffering
from Alzheimers disease.
Contact: Jeffrey A. Fleming, Phone: (404)
331-5001 Ext. 2316
Tracking Number: 2729
Winning Category: Program (Housing - Multifamily)
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Practices 2000 Best of the Best Winners
Content Archived: April 20, 2011