One Roof First Light is an active member of a Continuum of Care called One Roof, which is the umbrella organization for homeless service providers in the greater Birmingham area and is the funnel through which these agencies receive federal funding.
We attend monthly meetings, we interact and collaborate with the other agencies, and we participate in the annual project at Boutwell Auditorium, called Project Homeless Connect. This is an all day gathering of volunteers and agencies in one place--where the homeless can come to learn about programs and services available to them. First Light's staff always serves in the check-in process, as we are so fmailiar with the Homeless Management Information System through which our community keeps demographic records for community homeless families and individuals, which can be used to support appeals for federal grant monies.
Pathways, A Woman's Way Home Pathways has been collaborating with First Light since the shelter was located in the basement of First Presbyterian Church. The agency’s day center on Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. N. provides lunch, access to their clothes closet and a variety of day programs for First Light’s guests.
First Light and YWCA Central Alabama are collaborating partners for a Transitional Housing Program funded by the Department of Justice Office on Victims Against Women. First Light designed a program of service for homeless women in the shelter who have become homeless as a result of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence or stalking. YWCA Central Alabama provides affordable housing. The service and the housing are funded by the grant, as well as other possible needed services and programs designed to help a woman find stabilized housing, employment and self sufficiency. Possible services might be: counseling for the woman and/or her children, employment readiness or job training, childcare, transportation or medication assistance, for example. This is an 18 month transitional housing program with a six month followup period that helps women overcome trauma and regain permanent housing upon completion of the 18 month period.
It is important to note that First Light was first awarded the funding in 2011 and the grant has been continued in a second award which will begin in mid 2015.