Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CFH in the news!

Be sure to check out Care For the Homeless' Executive Director Bobby Watts on the Huffington Post! He was named "Greatest Person of the Day!" Congrats Bobby!

Click HERE to read the article.

Monday, August 8, 2011

An exciting new opportunity to help the homeless!

We know you love Broadway shows and we know you love helping the homeless. Why not do both at the same time?

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Givenik.com, a website that sells DISCOUNT Broadway and Off-Broadway show tickets.

Here's how it works:
  • You go onto the website and pick which show you want to see. 
  • You purchase tickets at a DISCOUNTED price 
  • Care for the Homeless gets 5% of the ticket sale. It's that simple!

So make Givenik.com your home for buying show tickets and make sure you go through the Care for the Homeless page to do so. 

Click HERE to check out the CFH page on Givenik.com!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Susan's Place Needs Your Help!

On Wednesday July 27, Susan's Place, our shelter in the Bronx for mentally ill and medically frail homeless women, was damaged by a massive water main break on Jerome Avenue. Thankfully, all the residents were safely evacuated to other shelters and Susan's Place is now functioning as the "command center" for all the city agencies that responded to the disaster.

The women were evacuated at 6:15 a.m., most in their robes and pajamas. the women need new, or nearly new clothing and shoes (larger sizes are especially needed). Your financial contributions will also help us replace items destroyed in this emergency.

Donations of clothing may be left at Care for the Homeless' main office: 30 E. 33rd St., Fifth floor between Park and Madison Avenues.

Thank you for your assistance.

To DONATE, click HERE.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet Leslie

Working as a Medicaid consultant, Leslie Bell had been to Susan’s Place while doing chart reviews, but it was a chance conversation with Lesley Moody, a Health Educator for CFH, that really showed her what Susan’s Place and CFH was all about. Drawn by wanting to help the women there, she applied for an available position with the agency and after waiting for months, she got the call she had been hoping for.

“I just knew I was going to be here. When I got that phone call to come in, I didn’t just come over, I ran over,” she laughs. “It’s a blessing because I’ve always been interested in working with the homeless population.”

Leslie’s passion for helping people emerged years earlier, when her sister passed away after a battle with HIV.  She promised her sister she would learn more about HIV and how to help others with the disease.

“I was there every step of the way with her,” Leslie said. “I was interested in working with the AIDS population because it hit close to home. Several other family members have tested positive and I just felt this was my calling.”

Now, Leslie works as a Health Educator at three different locations: the Briarwood Family Shelter, the Franklin Shelter, and Susan’s Place, doing HIV pre, post, and plus testing and giving workshops on health issues such as STDs, healthy relationships.  Most recently at Briarwood, she gave a workshop on germ protection for homeless children.

“I start my days at Briarwood with a greeting that’s always ‘good morning family,’” she says. “I want them to be able to walk into the clinic and be themselves, and not have that client/worker atmosphere. I love the families ­at Briarwood. I have workshops with the single female parents, but there are a lot of single male parents there that need the help I can give.”

Leslie loves the family feeling that is evident in the Briarwood Family Shelter. She has seen that if she approaches the clients, not as just a CFH employee, but as a friend, she is able to have more genuine conversations, allowing them to open up to her and make themselves available for her help.

“I really love what I do, I love the people I work with and the people I work for. There’s not a dull day and every day I learn something new. I try to go out of my way to make it pleasing for the clients and let them know that no matter what their status is, you can always have a beautiful life. I give out hope. I should wear a shirt that says that,” she laughs.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Father's Day at Susan's Place

The Father's Day celebration at Susan's Place was a special event for the men who work at the shelter. Not only recognized by Susan's Place Director Natalie Richardson, but by their peers and by the residents as well, the men who make it possible for the women to get back on their feet were treated with a special lunch.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Susan's Place Spotlight: Robert Bennett

When you think of the Director of Operations at a shelter, you don’t typically imagine a Wall Street broker/DJ working with homeless women on a daily basis, but at Susan’s Place, that’s exactly who Robert Bennett is. Raised in New York, Bennett has the “challenging” role of making sure everything at Susan’s Place is run as it’s supposed to, but he’s not bogged down by the challenge.

“My favorite part of the day is any moment when I can make the women happy and make them smile.  They take to me,” he says. “I guess it’s the positive spirit I bring to them. I check on everything they need.”

Bennett is in charge of more than just the facility at Susan’s Place. He also hosts open-microphone nights for the residents, oversees the gym and yoga classes, encourages the women to attend sewing and cooking classes and he utilizes his bookshelf full of DVDs and old-fashioned popcorn maker in his office for movie nights.

“We wanted to change the mood by what they watch. On movie day we used to show whatever movie and now we tamed what we show. If people are violent in the movie, some of the women mimic that behavior and we don’t want that.”

Wanting the best for the clients has become part of Bennett’s hallmark at Susan’s Place and in Care For the Homeless.  

“When they first come in, they can be cursing out people – we get all walks of life. We’re concerned about them. We want more for them. There’s no place like Susan’s Place. We take pride in our clients. We have a great environment. I think SP is number one of all shelters. ”

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Health Educator Spotlight: Jessica

Raised in northern California, Jessica Faville studied International Development and Economics at UCLA but she realized early on that she was loving her international health classes.

“All my extra-curriculars were health based,” she said. “That’s where my interests were. I was involved with organizations on campus that raised money for pediatric AIDS and I interned for an organization that does summer camps for HIV positive youth. I always knew I wanted to work with HIV. It was the first real disease I saw as a kid. My uncle died of HIV so it drove me to want to do health care.”

From there, she spent time working with HIV and AIDS promotion in a village in Tanzania, working in schools with kids doing health education and was working in San Francisco at a homeless clinic and in a shelter when she heard about CFH.

Now, as a part of the health education team at CFH, Faville works with families, senior citizens and LGBT youth, trying to help homeless people understand the importance of healthcare.

“Health can get lost with everything they (homeless people) have going on,” she said. “So as a health educator, to remind them the littlest thing can make a difference in their life. CFH matters because we’re addressing a population that a lot of people shy away from. The fact that we show up every week and show them that we’re interested in their lives does a lot for their well-being overall. For someone to remind them about their health can make all the difference.”

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Meet Kim

Born the oldest of six, Kim grew up in Harlem. After high school, she became an addict. After years of moving from one family member’s couch to another, she knew she had to get help.
Susan’s Place is the first shelter that Kim has been in and as she put it, “It’s the first and last.”
She didn’t know what to expect when she arrived at Susan’s Place, but upon getting there, her life “changed tremendously.”
“This place is beautiful. The atmosphere isn’t about thuggin' like it is in other shelters. The staff brings out the good parts of you. This place demands it of you.”
After almost 18 months at Susan’s Place, Kim is moving out into permanent housing.
“I never dreamed I’d be eligible for where I’m going,” she said. “This place has given me a sense of respect and self worth that I’ve never had before.”
Over the past months, Kim has been managing the gym at Susan’s Place, ensuring the new equipment is taken care of and that the women at the shelter are able to be physically active. Even though she’s moving out, she’s not done with Susan’s Place. She plans on coming back to help as much as she possibly can.
 “Women come in brand new every day so I need to be helping around here like they (the staff) have helped me,” she said. “I never had a name on my birth certificate. These people took the time to take me to get my name changed and went with me to court. They knew the importance of having that name on that paper. They are helping me on the road to who I’d like to be. They helped me pave a new road for my life.”

For more information on Susan's Place, click HERE.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Peter J. Sharp Men's Health Day

The Peter J. Sharp Men's Health Day was a success thanks to all the hard work from the CFH Health Education team! (pictured below with Executive Director Bobby Watts)

For more information on the CFH Health Education programs, click HERE.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Delfonics Take the Stage at Susan's Place

The Delfonics gave the residents of Susan's Place something to cheer about on Wednesday March 18th. Performing their hits "La La (Means I Love You)" and "Didn't I (Blow Your Mind This Time)," the trio sang, danced and entertained the ladies and staff in a free concert.

For more information on Susan's Place, click HERE

Friday, February 11, 2011

Coming soon!

In the next few weeks, the Care for the Homeless blog will be up and running! Be sure to check back for more details.
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