When it comes to philanthropic efforts, nonprofits should never assume that they know everything about the individuals they serve. In fact, they should dedicate resources to ensuring that the ways they help people are relevant and needed. It’s all too easy for a group of leaders removed from a difficult situation to make judgments on what people involved would want and what is effective—but it shows a lot of savvy to listen and evolve based on a community.
For instance, His House Children’s Home provides residential care for at-risk children, both in their own facilities and in community foster homes. However, what sets HHCH apart from other children’s homes is the variety of services they offer—all of which are tailored to support their Florida community.
For the average nonprofit, it’s easy to get caught in the weeds of the day-to-day while forgoing a plan for the long term. After all, there will always be someone out there that will need the assistance of a charitable organization. However, nonprofits should always have something akin to a business plan—growth is valued in both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors, but for the latter, growth involves making more efficient decisions regarding philanthropic efforts.
His House breaks the mold by providing residents with homes for eight or more children, each overseen by a dedicated house leader responsible for caring for them and equipping them with skills that will serve them for a lifetime. HHCH recognizes the difficulty many children have when they age out of the foster system and strives to provide opportunities for older residents. These include transitional cottages as children age that offer mentorship in skills both domestic and vocational. In fact, residents are even able to participate in internships to give them real-world working experience.
The His House model of care is facilitated by a combination of volunteers, professionals, and community partners to create a holistic experience for children. HHCH also accounts for the potential physical and mental challenges that residents might face, providing easy access to any necessary rehabilitation services.
Furthermore, His House also provides for its community by accommodating for the large number of immigrants that come to the United States by way of Florida. His House International was a creation of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) to provide safety and lodging for unaccompanied children. His House provides migrant children with the same care and comfort experienced by the rest of the home’s residents while the ORR works on their cases and ensures that they are properly released or reunited with their families.
Another vulnerable population that His House accounts for are young mothers looking to care for children. In a similar manner to the services provided for kids, HHCH gives teen mothers the opportunity to live in a safe environment while learning more about the process of motherhood—an intimidating prospect for a young woman.
His House is a great example of a nonprofit that combines a variety of services to serve populations all under the umbrella of child welfare. For them, it’s not just about the provision of care—it’s about finding new ways to help at-risk kids discover new opportunities for themselves.