Richard Cannon, President & CEO, Hearts for Homes, Inc. spotlights his organization, the winner of the 2020 First State Bank Banksgiving award.
Hearts for Homes was established in May 2016.
Working with its partners and supporters, Hearts for Homes (H4H) aspires to end child homelessness in Macomb County by helping homeless children and their families secure their own home. H4H also provides housing counseling, rent assistance, and connections to services and resources that empower families to break the cycle of poverty and inspire hope of achieving greater economic stability.
What is your service area?
First State Bank Banksgiving Grant Activities:
Hearts for Homes was pleasantly surprised to learn that it was the Grand Prize Winner of a $10,000 grant award from First State Bank as part of its 2020 Banksgiving Program. This grant is being used to provide rent payment assistance to help keep at-risk low-income families, whose incomes have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from being evicted and becoming homeless. Funds will also be used to provide rent or security deposit assistance to help homeless families get into their own homes.
What has been your biggest challenge in adapting to the time of COVID-19?
The organization’s biggest challenge has been shifting from in-person fundraising events to web-based fundraising. It resulted in a 34% net decrease in fundraising revenue and a drop in organizational donations in 2020. However, H4H is learning that a ‘silver lining’ of web based fundraising events is that it allows the organization to raise homeless awareness and funding from a broader audience outside Macomb County.
Where do you currently see the most need for your services?
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many low-income families, that were or are employed in the service sector jobs (e.g. restaurants), in losing income or becoming unemployed. Many of these families are still at-risk of eviction and homelessness. While federal assistance is being made available, it is insufficient to meet the demand for rent assistance to keep families in place. There is a need for supplemental philanthropic support of nonprofit organizations working to keep families from becoming homeless. Hearts for Homes is one of the few organizations that helps homeless families that lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence get into their own home, and provide gap rental assistance for families at-risk of eviction to supplement federal and state assistance to keep families from becoming homeless.
How can people learn more about your organization?