Partnering to help families One by One
It doesn’t take much to see the many unmet needs that exist in our communities and world. Non-profit organizations fill an important role in addressing societal issues by improving the quality of life for others with public interest at the heart of what they do. In 2021 Horizons partnered with The One by One Project to fill urgent funding gaps that exist for families experiencing homelessness, recognizing that working together can best help families with urgent and often make or break needs to help keep a family on track.
In the big picture, partnerships can help both organizations boost organizational efficiency, increase organizational effectiveness, or drive broader social and systems change. In this case, both Horizons and The One by One Project can take on the tasks they each do best and get funds to the parties who need them quickly.
“At Horizons, we’re very clear about our mission and the value we provide to young children and their families who are experiencing homelessness. We’re careful not to over-reach with our capabilities, and instead recognize that by partnering with complementary organizations we can, together, make a greater impact. Partnering with The One by One Project is a win-win endeavor,” shared Horizons’ CEO, Kate Barrand.
The One by One Project has become a valued partner to Horizons particularly in the last year. As part of Horizons’ Family Partnerships program, a coach and Family Advocate works with the parents of a child enrolled in the Early Education program. Their work together is very individualized and the Advocate serves as a coach and mentor to help each parent identify their strengths so they can overcome the challenges they face along their journey to financial sustainability. When a family encounters an unexpected and urgent expense that is a stumbling block, The One by One Project steps in as a partner to the Family Advocate to provide that extra mile of support to cover expenses that might otherwise be left uncovered.
According to Ayesha Rodriguez, Director of Family Partnerships at Horizons, “We see how easily a family’s efforts can be thwarted when an unexpected expense arises. The One by One Project has partnered with us to help dozens of our families overcome immediate financial hurdles they were facing. Thanks to their investments, we’re seeing families continue to move forward on their journey toward establishing a permanent home for their family.”
Hurdles come in different forms and tend to be different for each family. The circumstances vary but in all cases, a one-time influx of funding has been able to help keep a family from taking a step backward in their progress.
“Our work with Horizons for Homeless Children is so important to us because we know that parents who are working with Horizons put in so much effort to overcome their challenges. Despite hard work, sometimes smaller financial issues quickly unravel significant steps forward for a family. The Horizons team vets requests so that we can help with funding when all other possible solutions have been explored and exhausted,” said Pam Rosenberg, Co-Founder of The One by One Project.
In one case, a single mother was taking an online course with the end goal of obtaining her teaching certificate to become a Preschool teacher. She shared a laptop with her children and had to put a schedule together so everyone could do their homework. The scheduling was stressful and overwhelming with so much work to do. Horizons reached out to The One by One Project which recognized that a new computer would enable this mom to get work done and further her educational pursuits.
In another case, a mother was finally able to move out of shelter and into an apartment for herself and her children. In order to turn on the utilities, she had to repay the utility balance she’d accrued before moving into shelter. With other move-related expenses, she didn’t have the means to pay the old bill. Thanks to The One by One Project, they were able to zero out her account so she could have a fresh start establishing a home for her family.
More collaborations are expected as families continue to feel the pressures of the pandemic. Working together, the team at the One by One Project and Horizons are observing the trends in needs amongst families so the partnership can be further refined and expanded throughout the year. But for now, the support of The One by One Project is making big differences one family at a time.
Published in partnership with The One by One Project