Along with housing and supportive services, Dignity creates many additional opportunities for homeless families and individuals.
Alicia Christian Scholarship Fund
Named for co-founder and retired Executive Director, Alicia Christian, the Scholarship Fund reduces financial barriers that prohibit residents from successfully pursuing educational advancement and life skills objectives. Funds are utilized by both adults and youth for: college tours, college preparatory courses and application fees, direct tuition assistance, books, classroom materials, and childcare in situations where childcare costs impede participation in educational programs. Scholarships are also used to support summer camp experiences for children and youth. Since its inception, Dignity has awarded over $200,000 in scholarships to Dignity residents.
The Tenant Council works closely with staff at Dignity to review policies and procedures, plan special events and workshops, participate in advocacy efforts, and represent Dignity Housing in the larger community.
Dignity Resource & Opportunities Center
(Dignity ROCs), where the After School Enrichment Program is held, is a newly renovated space with a computer lab that has two stations specifically set up for the younger children. Dignity Housing’s children and youth activities provide a safe, supportive and structured environment for homeless children. Activities include:
Dignity’s Housing Placement services focuses on preparing clients for their transition beyond Dignity. Clients begin Housing Placement activities with their Case Manager shortly after entering the program in order to move steadily toward the goal of securing permanent housing after Dignity.Case Managers assist with the assessment and identification of appropriate permanent housing options which may include: supportive housing, low-cost rental, fair market rental or homeownership. Residents also engage in financial planning, credit repair, debt management, budgeting, and savings activities to further prepare them for independent living.
Dignity After School Enrichment Program
This program currently serves children from Dignity’s transitional housing programs, Alicia’s House and Dignity III. The AEP serves a dual purpose: to provide a free, convenient solution for Dignity mothers (who are employed and/or enrolled in educational programs) that are seeking quality after-school care for their children; and to provide a structured, safe and nurturing environment for children and youth.Tutoring and homework assistance are provided to program participants three days a week. Specialized tests are given to each student to assess their abilities and to measure progress in various subjects. Individual Academic Plans (IAP) are used by staff and tutors to set specialized goals according to each child’s ability. Supplemental trips, workshops, and activities are incorporated to help improve social skills and individual growth.
Dignity provides a variety of activities to help families bond and heal from the traumas and insecurity of homelessness. For families who struggle to find common ground in the stress of their daily lives, the Family Retreat experience creates an opportunity to come together in a positive environment. The Family Retreat is designed to promote family bonding and enhanced family communication through a variety of interactive and dynamic activities. Dignity staff members participate in the off-site trip, and work with families after the experience to help them incorporate what they learned into their daily routine.Additional family activities include game nights; movie nights; trips to local museums, sporting events and theatres; and workshops on family health and nutrition. Last year, families enjoyed an end-of-summer picnic at the Philadelphia Zoo as well as a Holiday Party featuring face painting and other entertainment for families. Free of cost, family activities provide opportunities for family bonding while supporting our adult heads of household in maintaining their savings goals during their time in Dignity.
Cultural Workshops, Trips and Activities
As part of Dignity’s After School Program, children participate in a variety of workshops, trips and activities throughout the year that promote cultural awareness, tolerance, and self-confidence, as well as develop critical thinking and decision making skills. Dignity collaborates with an organization, CHP Tours, that provides monthly workshops and artistic activities that focus on languages, artifacts and diversity among cultures.