First Avenues

First Avenues: Housing Solutions for Families is a nationally recognized housing program that serves homeless families and families most at risk of becoming homeless. First Avenues’ primary focus is to return families to independent living and to assist families and individuals to maintain their housing.

In the past year, First Avenues successfully re-housed 180 families, and prevented 60 families from becoming homeless.

93% of the families who participate in our rapid re-housing or eviction prevention programs remain stably housed one year after the end of our services.

Homelessness Prevention – First Avenues helps families at-risk of losing their housing by providing counseling, financial management training, mediation with landlords, and direct financial assistance. Eligible families may receive a grant towards back rent to prevent an eviction.

For more information, please call a First Avenues Homelessness Prevention Case Manager at (415) 614-9060, ext. 105.

Rapid Re-Housing – The rapid re-housing and rental subsidy program assists families who are homeless to secure permanent housing by providing housing search assistance, move-in assistance and 3 to 18 months of rental subsidies. Once housed, home-based support services are available for up to 24 months and include: linkage to community resources, budgeting and financial planning, counseling, job placement, connections to childcare, school enrollment assistance, housing advocacy, and more. As participating families stabilize their income, the rental subsidy is reduced until it is no longer necessary.

For more information, please call a First Avenues Rapid Re-housing Case Manager at (415) 614-9060, ext. 112.

Partnering with the Schools

Hamilton Family Center has a unique partnership with the San Francisco Unified School District to more effectively identify and serve families who are homeless or facing eviction. When a counselor, social worker, or nurse learn a family is about to become homeless or is newly homeless, our “rapid response team” will go to the school to meet with the family, assess their needs and enroll them in one of our programs.

A Story of Hope

Martha came to the First Avenues program 12 months ago after staying at our Hamilton Emergency Shelter shortly after completing a program Raphael House. Prior to becoming homeless, Martha had full-time employment and was able to sustain her housing as a single parent. Unfortunately, her life took an unexpected turn in which she became unemployed, suffered from depression and relapsed after being clean and sober for several years. During her time in shelter, she shared “I want to have a great life for me and my son, I want to help people who have been through the struggles that I have.” This realization led her to enroll in school to start a new life. When Martha found housing and started the First Avenues rental subsidy program, her life became manageable and dreams started to become a reality.

During her time in First Avenues, Martha completed a certificate program from San Francisco City College and obtained a certificate as a Health Worker and Substance Abuse counselor. Martha has also been successful in obtaining employment through the work study at the college and at Levi’s Stadium. This fall semester Martha is accomplishing another great achievement in her life, she will be completing her AA in Social and Behavioral Science.

In Martha’s own words:

“I am grateful for all the support and help First Avenues and the Hamilton Family shelter has provided for my son and I. In a sense, I guess all of this had to happen in order for me to really change my life and better my situation. I am grateful for all the staff, mainly my case manager who always motivates me and gives that type of tough love.”

Martha will continue her journey in school; she plans to enroll in a Bachelor’s degree program and seek employment in the field of helping others. Martha stated that one day she would like to work for Hamilton Family Center.

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