Dear Day One Friends,
With the support of many, we have made amazing progress since our last update. Along with generous financial support, the many volunteers, community organizations, professional speakers, families and friends have helped make this progress possible, and we thank you.
Five families have successfully completed the first 12 weeks of programing and moved into housing on July 1st! We were able to move our families into Naomi’s Place, a converted house that formerly was a home for women in recovery. The house includes five, 2-bedroom, well-maintained apartments in a convenient location for our families.The families are enjoying each other and are developing a real support system. Together, we are all learning about the process of organizing lives and resources to enable the pursuit of long-term goals and stability.
Our initial 12-week session included speakers and programing to provide information to help our families settle in and prepare for the work ahead. We have had success connecting our families to resources, counseling, and career possibilities and have provided programing for parenting skills, financial responsibility, health management and stress reduction. The second 12 weeks of programing will begin August 1st and our wonderful partners are excited to continue to work with the families. Our partners include the Pennsylvania Association for the Education of Young Children (PAEYC), The Maya Organization, Planned Parenthood, PA Stars, and The Early Learning Institute (TELI).
Two of our guest speakers from the first session, Carla Young, a professor and academic counselor at CCAC, and Dani Camp, a registered nurse and an active member of the Black Nurses Association, have taken their involvement to another level. Dani is recruiting fellow nurses to provide each Day One family with a “Health Coach” to assist in managing health and wellness. Carla has returned with speakers and graduates from CCAC as well as providing counseling on programs, financial aid, and study skills.
We are very happy to report that we have received our first grant from the Opportunity Fund, which will provide $10,800 a year for 3 years to support the housing for one family. We are near completion of grant applications to the Heinz and Hillman Foundations, which may put us in a position to employ a part-time staff member to support the project. The organizational planning and applications process has been accomplished with the support of our consultants from New Sun Rising.
We plan to send our Fall Fundraising mailer and we hope you will continue to support our efforts as we will be working hard to expand our support base. We are working with an ad firm who has donated their time and talents to create an organizational logo and we are in the early stages of website development. Lastly, we hope to plan an event this fall to raise our profile in the community.
As excited as we are, there is much work ahead. We are steadfast in our commitment to our Day One families and are committed to improving our program every day. We remain humble and open minded in our approach and are fortunate to have community partners and individuals who see the transformative power of what we are doing. Again we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking this journey with us.
A BIG THANK YOU FROM OUR FAMILIES
Remmington, Ranaa, Lilly, Kaiya, Erica, Henry, Chyna, Carmen, Rhileey, Raeyah
Best and Many Thanks,
Muzz Meyers and the Day One Team