Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center represents the lived experience of the disenfranchised, and the fight for equality. We stand with Black Lives Matter, aligned in our commitment to improve the lives of those we serve and dismantle systemic racism, a contributing factor to homelessness.
The fight to end homelessness is inexplicably tied to social, racial and economic justice. As sad and angry as we are about the death of George Floyd and many others, we are aware that communities of color face many forms of violence. Homelessness is violence; poverty and hunger are violence; over- incarceration, poor education and inadequate health care are all assaults on dignity, respect, opportunity, and humanity that tear at the fabric of family and community.
The ongoing pandemic has also had a devastating and disproportionate impact on communities of color and again, reveals their lack of access to medical care which contributes to poorer health outcomes. Hildebrand staff understands this and has been relentless in their efforts to keep families safe.
Homelessness is a condition that disproportionately effects black and brown people. Family homelessness is rooted in race and gender bias, wage inequality, unemployment, displacement (usually caused by gentrification or domestic violence), and housing discrimination and lack of affordability. Ninety percent of the families we serve are people of color who are Black and Latinx. We are in tough times and yet, times have always been tough for those we support. They have always faced an overwhelming confluence of issues, and Hildebrand has been the haven where families come to recover from the trauma brought on by each of these dehumanizing encounters.
CAMBRIDGE, MAY 22, 2020 – Hildebrand Family Self-Help Center is one of 130 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 to $500,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $20 Million Grant Program. The Cambridge-based organization was chosen from a total of 738 applicants during a competitive review process.
Hildebrand partners with families experiencing homelessness, to help them gain more self-sufficiency on their journey. As one of the largest family shelter providers in Massachusetts, Hildebrand endeavors to break the cycle of homelessness by providing shelter, permanent housing, training and work readiness programs, and life skills development.
“Hildebrand operates 135 units of emergency shelter, and helps families overcome the barriers to securing housing,” said Shiela Y. Moore, Hildebrand’s CEO. “We approach each family’s situation as unique and believe every family has strengths upon which to build a brighter future. In the past 10 years, 763 families have moved from shelter to housing so we know our strengths-based programming truly works. We impact the long-term housing stability of the most vulnerable members of our community.” Hildebrand operates 11 units of permanent housing and places over 70 families a year into affordable housing throughout the Greater Boston area.
The Cummings support will allow families to continue to receive stabilization services for two years after they leave the emergency shelter program to ensure they remain stably housed. The stabilization program is designed to prevent the recurrence of homelessness. When families transition into permanent housing, Hildebrand works with the head of household to ensure they stay on course with their plan to increase economic mobility and avoid the pitfalls that may put the family’s housing at risk. “We are so grateful for this leadership support from Cummings Foundation, who share our vision and commitment to restore hope and build brighter futures,” said Moore.