The mission of Homeless Children’s Network is to decrease the trauma of homelessness and domestic violence for children, youth, and families.
We provide direct mental health treatment to families who are homeless, at-risk for homelessness or formerly homeless. Therapy focuses on the strengths of the client and family, and is designed to help clients overcome the traumas of homelessness and domestic violence. Our therapists are mobile, which means we are able to travel anywhere in the city to meet with clients. Appointments are held at HCN’s office, at partner sites, schools, in clients’ homes, libraries, restaurants, or even parks.
Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation:
By providing mental health consultation and support to providers, we can work to ensure the emotional well-being of young children, ages 0-5 and their families. We provide consultation services to staff at sites serving homeless families, including early care and education centers, licensed family childcare homes, homeless and domestic violence shelters, substance abuse treatment centers, and Family Resource Centers.
Homeless Family Resource Center:
Our offices in the Bayview include a dedicated Resource Center for homeless children, teens, adults and their families. The Resource Center is a bright, open space with breezy drapes, carpeting, and cozy couches. Neatly presented toys and games, child-sized tables and chairs, and an enormous teddy bear help children recognize that this is a space especially for them. We also provide some basic needs services and support, especially around the holidays. This support takes many forms, including gifts for children, clothing, gift cards and holiday cards, school supplies and linkages to family support resources.
Collaborative Training and Coordination:
We are the hub of a citywide collaborative, and we facilitate a monthly service provider meeting for our more than 40 partnering agencies throughout city. Trainings on child development, vicarious trauma, parenting skills, culturally competent outreach and service delivery strategies, prevention and intervention best practices, health and well-being for the community, are just a few of the many topics that are covered by our trainings. An additional goal of the monthly service providers meeting is to strengthen the referral and coordination of services in order to enhance the capacity of each collaborating agency to better serve families.
Our Youth Leadership Committee works to develop and strengthen diverse youth voices as community leaders, and to deepen the partnerships among youth-serving agencies, particularly in the Tenderloin, in order to build their capacity. Homeless, formerly homeless, and at-risk youth ages 16-23 from diverse backgrounds participate in monthly leadership and planning activities, including developing a needs assessment and services assessment that speak to their lives and community.