When you ask Roxbury teachers at Horizons for the most outgoing student, they will all say the same: Nini. A precocious and funny preschooler, Nini started at Horizons for Homeless Children when she was three months old. Over the past four years, she has learned letters, made friends, and blossomed into a big personality who is a leader in her class. But the growth isn’t just with her. Nini’s mom, Mikeisha, has made significant strides as well.

At Horizons, our Family Partnership Program is designed to support parents who are experiencing homelessness. Our Family Advocates, who are similar to social workers, provide coaching to the families enrolled in our early education centers. Using Mobility MentoringTM, our team works with each parent to help them develop goals and access resources including education, job training, and other services.

Horizons staff connected Mikeisha and her children to mental health services as a result of domestic violence they experienced. “It was so important to be given access to the level of care beyond what I was able to give my children at that time,” said Mikeisha. Staff at Horizons also helped Mikeisha learn how to create and maintain a budget to support her family. Now, she’s saving money each month and is better equipped for the future.

“Horizons taught me so much. The individual attention I was given helped me get to a better place mentally, so I was able to focus on getting permanent housing and putting food on the table,” said Mikeisha. “The staff gives me confidence and support, and has become an extension of my family. I don’t know where I’d be without Horizons. As a parent who experienced homelessness, I can tell you that you cannot find this type of care anywhere else in Boston.”

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