Our extensive experience with youths in homeless shelters have exposed a common denominator of poor money management skills resulting in crippling debt, adverse credit, and a feeling of never being able to get ahead and begin saving for a successful future. Our in-shelter workshops titled “The Pillars of Success” is an extensive curriculum-based workshop aimed at giving youth and families the tools and skills necessary to gain financial independence over time. Our program directors work with these individuals both in a group and individual setting narrowing down on the needs of the specific individual.
Our workshops focus on both global and individual issues that have contributed to the youths homelessness giving them the tools necessary to have both the financial means and confidence to become successful and self-sufficient members of society. By implementing these skills and having F.A.M.I.L.Y Movement as a support system and ally allow them to begin their path from homelessness to homeownership.
Financial advisors implement the tools necessary to begin paying down debt, building credit, and formulate an individual budget in order to begin building savings and planning for the future. While shelter residents participate in our workshops we implement “Every Penny Counts Program” which we have the youth actively use the tools they are learning to save and budget their money during the workshop. At the end of the six month program, F.A.M.I.L.Y Movement matches penny-for- penny what they saved during this time-period to either be deposited in a savings account or toward paying down a debt. As a result, the youth not only are learning the tools necessary to begin their path to financial stability but get to experience first hand the successes and rewards for saving and budgeting creating an excitement and positive attitude toward saving increasing the likelihood of continued success.
The Workforce Development Team provides aid to those individuals who are unemployed to gain employment by collaborating with staffing firms and agencies which provide both temporary and permanent employment. The Workforce Development team work with the individuals on resume building, interview skills, and “dressing for success” which is a program that provides woman with business attire for proper job placement and success. Our Workforce team also works with the individuals with children to find childcare and/or after school programs and helps individuals with the financial burden of proper childcare.
The Education Directors assist individuals with their education while stressing the importance of continuing their education and obtaining their GED and/or college degrees. Our directors work with the individuals and give them the tools to help balance their family life, careers, and education. We work with the individuals with college applications, financial aid, applying for stipends/scholarships.
Homelessness to Homeownership (H2H) is our newest community based program that works with individuals and families who were previously homeless and give them the tools necessary to become homeowners. Through our partnerships with local real estate agents, mortgage brokers, financial advisors, credit counselors, and one-on-one mentorship, we help our clients reach their goal of becoming homeowners!
F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement's main focus is working in homeless shelters housing young women and men ages 16-35 with children ages 0-15 within the Greater Boston area. Homelessness can happen to anyone, at any given time, and our organization is here to help those facing that crisis who aren't eligible for state or government benefits, or may have other barriers preventing them from accessing the necessary support systems.
Our workshops not only serve and benefit the actual individual, but have a global impact on the next generation at both a community and state level. Giving these individuals the tools necessary for financial stability helps greatly reduce generational poverty and homelessness, as well as allow them to no longer depend on or require state benefits.
When we work with individuals in the homeless shelters it's usually at one of the lowest points of their lives. Giving even one of these people the hope, tools and inspiration to overcome their adversity and become successful has no bounds for how they can, in turn, help themselves. F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement's Founder, Lakenya Rivers, was once a young teen in a homeless shelter. Mrs. Rivers used her experience and tools provided to become a successful business woman, wife and mother, as well as a beacon of hope for these young men and women to give them confidence and a positive outlook for their future. As a result of her experience, she has formed an organization that has helped thousands of individuals and families for almost 10 years and continues to grow. Just like herself, wanting to give back and help those who are going through something similar to what she did, F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement has individuals who have successfully completed the workshops, become financially stable, live in permanent housing and are now inspired to work with our organization. These men and women have become mentors to continue the fight to end poverty and homelessness.
I like that she (Lakenya) is down to earth and understands us. She is very patient because we can go crazy sometimes! She is very well organized and always has something new to share. She is there for the people and is always trying to help.
Lakenya has a positive attitude and is very creative.
Lakenya is an excellent speaker. She always has excellent, relevant topics to talk about. I like how she can relate to the topics that she speaks about.
Lakenya is able to interact with the young ladies in a nonjudgemental manner.
You inspired me. Thanks!
I appreciate the time that you take from your personal life to spend with us and share your life experience.
Lakenya is a good person and very inspirational.
She provides us with great information.
She is truly inspirational and spiritual.
The Rising Star workshop was fun. It showed everyone's individuality and differences.
-St. Ambrose Staff
The Rising Star workshop has given me the strength and courage I needed to grow.
-St. Ambrose Resident
Community Building in Boston | The New Prosperity | February, 2009
6th Annual 100 Unsung Heroines of Massachusetts | Mass Commission on the Status of Women | May, 2009
Interview with F.A.M.I.L.Y. Movement and NPi | The New Prosperity | July, 2009