Residential Assistance to Families in Transition
What is RAFT?
RAFT stands for Residential Assistance to Families in Transition. It is a non-profit agency dedicated to meeting the needs of homeless families in the Southwest Nebraska area. Check out the RAFT website here: http://raftnebraska.org/
RAFT’s Mission Statement:
The mission of the Residential Assistance To Families in Transition (RAFT) Program is to stabilize families in distress within a safe, secure, and empowering environment while they regain self-sufficiency.
RAFT’s Vision Statement:
The vision of RAFT is to provide a
structured residential program which includes the resources and services to assist families in rebuilding their lives and becoming productive members of the community.
What does RAFT do?
RAFT provides a helping hand to those who are actively working toward becoming self-sufficient. RAFT offers temporary residence so that families have a chance to get back on their feet. During their stay, families are required to develop their own goals and a service plan. The plan includes a requirement for all adults to work and/or attend training for a total of 40 hours per week. Typical plans include employment attainment, employment retention, mental health counseling, education, future housing exploration, and community involvement. Each family is required to attend weekly case management meetings, monthly budgeting meetings, Financial Peace University, parenting classes, monthly life skills meetings, and work toward becoming involved in their community. All service plans build on the family’s strengths and use these strengths to overcome barriers. An integral part of the RAFT program includes collaboration with area agencies. These agencies, along with RAFT, provide specialized services to the families to help them accomplish the goals they develop.
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- RAFT requires a six-month minimum and a two-year maximum residential agreement for each family.
- The RAFT House contains 5 apartments, each with its own kitchen, bathroom, living space and at least one bedroom.
- The House is locked at all times.
- Shared laundry facilities.
- Fenced-in backyard and playground.
- 24 hour on-call staff.
The development of RAFT was the result of a need identified by several existing agencies and concerned citizens in Kearney who formed the Kearney Area Coalition on Homelessness.
The Coalition’s initial efforts resulted in the development of the RAFT program. RAFT was designed to complement existing endeavors and to maximize both efficiency and effectiveness in the community’s delivery of services. RAFT receives grants from federal and state agencies, United Way of the Kearney Area, and private donations. Success of RAFT depends on the support of community volunteers and contributions. Volunteers include RAFT’s 15 member Board of Directors and 2 additional committee members, who generously bring their expertise from many walks of life.
“RAFT made me a stronger person; they showed me how not to be pushed around by anyone.”
“They were understanding of my needs and helped me through my difficulties.”
“I met some very nice people in the same situation who could relate. We helped each other by listening and watching each other’s children.”
“Respect, love and understanding, help that never gives up on you.”
“Before coming to RAFT, I had never been able to hold down a job; I have been at my current one for almost two years.”