January Nonprofit Spotlight
Home of the Sparrow
Home of the Sparrow has been selected for January’s Nonprofit Spotlight!
Who They Are:
Home of the Sparrow’s mission is to provide Hope, Opportunity and Support that empowers women and children as they journey from homelessness to self-sufficiency.
Home of the Sparrow opened its doors as a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit homeless shelter in 1987. Today, Home of the Sparrow not only provides Transitional Shelter, but also Affordable Housing and Rapid Re-Housing combined with Supportive Services that address the core issues of homelessness. Home of the Sparrow serves single women, pregnant women, and women with children. Approximately 93 percent of the women they serve have experienced domestic violence at some point on their journey. Other reasons for homelessness include unforeseen housing or financial crisis, a death in the family, or a medical emergency. The economy and rising costs of living also contribute to unstable housing situations.
On average, Home of the Sparrow receives over 2,200+ calls a year from women in crisis. This past fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, they served over 400+ individuals!
What kind of support does the Home of the Sparrow need the most right now?
The most important need right now is help building awareness. Chester County is the wealthiest county in Pennsylvania, yet 34,000 people live below the poverty line. Why? Because Chester County is a very expensive place to live and not everyone can earn the amount of money needed to afford basic necessities – even when working full-time. Without a degree and/or specialized training, most adults must make careers in the service sector (i.e., child/adult care, retail, housekeeping, restaurant industry). These industries, on average pay $20 or less per hour, creating an annual net income of approximately $28,000. According to the Economic Policy Institute’s Family Budget Calculator, a single parent with two children needs to earn over $93,000 annually to attain a “modest yet adequate standard of living.”
What is one thing you wish people knew about the Home of the Sparrow that they may not?
Most of the program participants work full-time and, because the word “home” is in the name, many people think Home of the Sparrow is a shelter. The objective to is to prevent a woman or single mother from experiencing homelessness. Home of the Sparrow empowers women to work towards, achieve or maintain their independence by providing trauma-informed case management, which is incredibly thorough. It includes financial literacy training and assistance paying rent or a deposit on a safe, affordable apartment. All payments are made directly to the landlords. The women they serve are known by the United Way acronym ALICE – asset limited, income constrained, employed.
Are there any upcoming events that Home of the Sparrow is hosting?
After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, HOS’s gala returns on Friday, April 29th! The gala is well known for its spectacular silent auction, which is lovingly curated by a group of longtime volunteers who have a gift for creating unique and delightful items. The event also includes a full-course dinner, live auction, and “mission moments” which help attendees learn more about how Home of the Sparrow helps women and single mothers in Chester County who are experiencing a housing crisis. Visit the event website: hos.givesmart.com to register for the gala (tickets go on sale mid-March).
For more information, please visit their website at: homeofthesparrow.org.