Facing Forward to End Homelessness is proud to announce that we have been selected to receive a $1.25 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund! Launched in 2018 by Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.
“Homelessness has its most destructive impact on young children, but thanks to the Day 1 Families Fund, we will ensure some of our youngest neighbors move into stable housing with the supports they need to get their lives off to the best start possible.” said Rev. Doug Bradshaw, Executive Director of Facing Forward to End Homelessness.
This one-time grant will allow the launch of a new program at Facing Forward aimed at providing housing solutions and supportive services to families experiencing homelessness with an expectant mother or with children 0-3 years old. Participants in the program will have access to doula services, employment and income support, connection to family healthcare, and early childhood development support.
Facing Forward to End Homelessness is one of 41 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the third annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a continuing commitment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness for families. To select these organizations, the fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and leaders whose expertise spans housing justice, racial equity, direct services, homelessness policy, equity for Native American communities, and anti-poverty work.
The Bezos Day One Fund was launched with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help families experiencing homelessness, and creating a network of new, non-profit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.
Over the last year, Facing Forward has served over 1,600 Chicagoans in ending the cycle of homelessness. The organization’s longest running program, Permanent Supportive Housing, prioritizes high-vulnerability families and individuals experiencing chronic homelessness. Facing Forward’s additional programs serve those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, including individuals with disabilities, families of Chicago Public School students, and survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking.