Program areas at Rainbow Village
Adult programs and services (safe homes in a safe community) Rainbow Village uses a two-generation holistic approach to ending the cycle of homelessness, poverty, and domestic violence. We have assessed the needs of the population we serve and identified key areas of focus. These areas are the supportive services that we have determined to be most effective in assisting families in progress towards overall well-being and in alleviating barriers to financial and housing success. Financial literacy education - during these meetings a success coach teaches essential money and debt management concepts. An essential part of financial literacy is prioritizing expenses by using a budget sheet as a tool. Credit related housing barriers are identified and addressed as well. The success coach works closely with the resident to create a financial plan that includes positioning the family to obtain housing and pay off credit-related housing barriers. Mental and physical health - homelessness can create emotional scars that thwart the ability to execute healthy coping skills. Counseling ensures that adults and children traumatized by the effects of homelessness and domestic violence have resources available to process their emotions. People in a constant state of crisis and instability do not exercise clear judgment. Unhealthy adults miss more time from work and when present do not perform well. Children who are unhealthy are underperformers academically. Success coaches oversees coordination of mental health and medical services for Rainbow Village residents provided through a partnership with viewpoint health. Success coaches also address the material needs of residents by providing furniture and household goods donated by our community and faith partners. Life skills training and education - weekly life skills training classes are provided to residents by community and corporate partners. The topics covered are financial literacy, positive parenting, auto and home maintenance, health and wellness and workforce development among others. Alumni program - we realize that it takes individuals approximately five years to move from a state of homelessness to self-sufficiency therefore what begins in our residency program is continued in our alumni program. Families may receive case management and supportive services as needed after transitioning to the alumni program. As they progress and gain more independence, the level of support becomes more limited. The programs of Rainbow Village are very goal-oriented and uses a bridge to self-sufficiency to measure the progress of its residents. The bridge helps families plan, reach, and sustain their personal goals in five essential areas: family stability, well-being, education and training, financial management, and employment and career management.
Children and youth programs (education and supportive services for homeless families with children) children and youth education - Rainbow Village academy Rainbow Village recognizes that children who experience instability may fall behind academically and we address the need by offering a comprehensive array of enrichment activities, tutoring, and extra- curricular activities through our Rainbow Village academy. Volunteer tutors and staff assist students with homework assignments to ensure they remain on track academically with their peers. Rainbow Village was privileged to have a number of consistent volunteers that worked alongside the family engagement coordinator and the academy staff. On tuesday nights when evening educational programs are held, 135 individuals gave a total of 275 volunteer hours to assist staff with monitoring and supervising play activities of the children while their parents attended life skills classes and support groups. Students are increasingly seeking opportunities to become involved in extracurricular activities at school or in the community. Middle and high school students are encouraged to participate in some type of extracurricular activity, such as music, academic clubs, and sports. We know that these activities offer opportunities for our students to learn the values of teamwork, individual and group responsibility, physical strength and endurance, competition, diversity and a sense of culture and community. Successful participation indicators in school activities include consistent attendance, academic achievement and aspirations for continuing education beyond high school. Extracurricular participation is positively associated with an achievement indicator among our youth. Our after-school program served a total of 60 children in 2019 and provided day camp during summer school break where Rainbow Village has established a partnership with the city of duluth parks and recreation department. During fall, winter, and spring breaks, children attend camp at the ymca. Our early childhood development center (ecdc) provided essential services for low income individuals. Affordable day care and quality early childhood education programs are a scarce commodity for individuals with limited financial resources. August 2019 marked the two-year anniversary of the ecdc which serves the youngest of our residents and alumni from age four months through 5 years. The ecdc uses creative curriculum, a Georgia approved curriculum as its early learning program and has adopted the social emotional learning (sel) model to assist pre-school students in learning the process of acquiring and effectively applying skills necessary to understand and manage emotions. Rainbow Village's ecdc served 63 low income students in 2019 and achieved the quality rated accreditation from the state of Georgia.