33 Years of HFH: Past, Present, and Future

Uncategorized / January 18, 2022

Chrystal came to Harford Family House in 2010 after many years of substance abuse and alcoholism, which ultimately led to homelessness. The fear of losing her young son Logan motivated her to seek help and shelter. From her very first day at Harford Family House Chrystal was struck by an overwhelming sense of love and welcoming without judgement, and she attributes her success in the HFH program to the support and structure provided. “They believed in me but also held me accountable. No one in my life had ever done that.” Chrystal and her son have since lived in their own stable housing for the past eight years. She works full-time and has remained sober. “Any time the thought of using crosses my mind, I think of my family at Harford Family House and everything they did to help me. ‘What would they think?’ That’s what keeps me going.”


Jamia had been on her own since the age of 15 and often doubled-up with extended family members who were also experiencing unstable housing themselves. When she was referred to Harford Family House at 18, she came with very little possessions and no personal documents. With the help of her case worker in the Unaccompanied Adult Program, she has been able to obtain important documents, enroll in a GED program, and a phlebotomy certification program which she will complete on January 30th. Her long-term goal is to become a CNA or GNA so she can provide housing and financial stability for her younger siblings. When asked how HFH has made a difference, she says, “It’s the care and support, and the fact that I’m being treated like a human being.”


As you can see, mentorship and the sense of belonging and support it provides has been a cornerstone of clients’ success in Harford Family House programs. Clients often have a mentor/mentee relationship with their case worker, but this month, during National Mentor Month, we have rolled out the HFH Guiding Light Mentorship Program to give clients an additional source of support via community members invested in clients’ success. If you are interested in instilling confidence and self-esteem, and providing encouragement, motivation, guidance, knowledge and opportunities by serving as a positive role model and establishing trust, respect and friendship to clients ages 16-24, please contact Amy Onorato, Director of Programs and Case Management, at aonorato@harfordfamilyhouse.org


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