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All proceeds from this race will benefit Sinai House in its mission to enable families to move from homelessness to independence by providing safe and affordable housing, comprehensive social services and financial support. Founded in 1992 by members of Temple Sinai, we provide fully-furnished apartments to four families at a time. Families live at Sinai House for about two years, while working to achieve stability and independence. Upon completion of the residency portion of our program, residents can choose to participate in our post-residency program and have access to two years of services from our staff, modest cash assistance for housing costs during the first year and help in connecting to services in their new neighborhoods.
The overall goals and commitment of the Sinai House program is to provide not just housing, but also the skills to help each resident family stabilize its financial situation and make progress in attaining family members’ educational and employment goals. In short, the Sinai House program is aimed at giving its residents the tools to thrive post-residency. One of the keys to the success of Sinai House is that its residents participate in the various services we provide, from parenting, nutrition and cooking classes, placement in appropriate job training programs and learning how to thrive in jobs, to workshops on computer use, energy efficiency, and how to obtain affordable housing and healthcare. Sinai House residents and service providers work together so that everyone succeeds in reaching goals.
We require a significant level of commitment from our residents: Adults must work full-time, or engage in a combination of part-time work and part-time school or job training (which Sinai House may help finance). The children must attend accredited daycare or an appropriate school, and a structured summer camp program (either a free program or a program for which Sinai House pays). Adults sign a contract acknowledging their obligation to abide by the rules, including paying a monthly stipend towards rent and participating in the savings program; to attend all programs; and to meet regularly with our Executive Director.
We provide a wide range of services for our residents:
Individual Case Management: Our Executive Director works with each new adult resident to develop an individualized case management plan, outlining concrete steps the adults will take to achieve their goals for job training, education, and financial stability including securing affordable housing. The case management plans also include goals for the resident children, to ensure they have appropriate educational and psychological support.
Education Coordination: An outside consultant administers an education assessment for each child and observes them in the classroom. Parents are advised on the best available school options and can receive assistance in advocating for their children.
Financial Coaching: An outside consultant meets with our residents in group sessions and individually. Our consultant teaches the mechanics of budgeting, debt, credit, saving, and investment.
Individual Therapy: Licensed therapists provide counseling for current and former resident parents and children as needed.
Tricia Davis Matching Savings Program: Residents are required to set aside a specified amount of money each month, which is matched on a 2:1 basis. Most residents leave Sinai House with about $5,000 in savings.
Career Coaching: Sessions led by an outside consultant help current and former residents identify their strengths, gain confidence and create an appealing resume. The consultant suggests courses and certification programs that would lead to higher-paying jobs. A job fair was well-received by both the employers and residents in attendance and more are planned.
How you can make a difference:
Become a Tutor: We have an active tutoring program where each child is paired with a volunteer who helps the child build his or her academic skills, assists with homework, and serves as a role model. The tutoring program has been very successful, helping most of the children reduce or close their grade level gap in both reading and math.
Supervise Playtime: Children typically come to Sinai House with a history of chaos, trauma, and unpredictability. Recognizing that part of what they need is the opportunity to just be children, volunteers lead weekly playtime sessions that include arts and crafts, reading, sports, board games and dramatic play.
Become a Mentor: We identify children who would benefit from one on one mentoring from outside their families. Mentors, who have been appropriately screened, meet with their mentee on a monthly basis for unstructured activities after school or on weekends. Mentors play a pivotal role in the lives of our residents and many mentoring relationships continue after the families leave Sinai House.
Organize an Enrichment Activity: Throughout the year, volunteers from Temple Sinai engage our children in fun activities, including cooking lessons, pool parties, baseball games, Renaissance Festivals, MLK Day outings, and camping trips.