WILLIAMSBURG — The Home First Williamsburg program moved its first three families into stable housing in October.
Home First Williamsburg is a collaboration between the City of Williamsburg’s Human Services Department, Bacon Street Youth & Family Services, and 3e Restoration. Its goal is to assist families who are experiencing homelessness to find stable housing.
Earlier this year, the City of Williamsburg’s Human Services Department received an $87,000 Sentara Cares one-year grant to support the pilot program. This grant pays for the rent and utilities of five units at any one time.
“Parents and children who are faced with homelessness experience trauma and chronic stress caused by the instability,” Human Services Director Wendy Evans said. “Families face so many barriers to obtaining or maintaining stable housing. This program is designed to provide stabilization to families so they can address those barriers with a supportive team walking alongside them.”
According to a press release from the City of Williamsburg, the goal of the program is to end homelessness for city residents using a housing-first, trauma-informed approach to address individual social, emotional, physical, and cognitive well-being. A social work case manager, clinician, and housing specialist will work with Home First families to address their unique needs and specific barriers to obtaining and maintaining permanent housing.
“We are excited to see this initiative come together,” said Tammy Harden, executive director of 3e Restoration. “We are also excited to utilize 3e’s curriculum and Growth Symbols so our neighbors in need can be equipped to make trauma-responsive decisions, leverage their strengths, and be empowered toward resilience.”