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Meet Tyenesha Fields of Jacinths Homeless Foundation

Today we’d like to introduce you to Tyenesha Fields. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Jacinths Homeless Foundation (JHF) Was founded February 2018 by Tyenesha Fields. She started JHF because she experienced the struggles of not having many options while being homeless. She was homeless two times in her lifetime traveling from many shelters with her young son. In order to qualify for a spot in transitional housing she was required to have been homeless for 2.5 years. This was one of the things that she wanted to change, no one should have to struggle and live on the streets for 2+ years just to receive assistance. While in transitional housing she was required to take parenting class and follow a three-strike method. She was penalized for enrolling into medical school because she was frustrated with the job market. Her second strike was received after having been in the transitional housing program for 1.5 years because she had found a work from home job and was working that job at her mother’s house. Shortly after her 2nd strike, she thought it was time to leave the program having saved up enough money to put a deposit on an apartment a few miles away from her school. For three weeks, her and her son shared a pallet on the floor. Not able to afford a desk she had her computer set up on the floor and she would either sit or lay flat on the floor to complete her 40 hours a week. She would then walk two miles to school with her son and with the assistance of classmates and teachers, she attended class. A daily routine she did for two years.

In 2019 she hosted her first Hydrate the Homeless event where She provided the homeless with sandwiches, snack packs, chips and water bottles. This is an events she has done every three months and with the pandemic taking a toll on the world, she teamed up with a local Medical Director and provided Covid Vaccine to those in need.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It has not been a smooth road. One of our biggest struggles has been raising the finances to make sure that we can keep up with the high demand of people who are currently in need.

We receive over 100 rental assistance applications per month, and we try to do the best we can to make sure we can spread out the funds to help partial help the problem.

Appreciate you sharing that. What should we know about Jacinths Homeless Foundation?
We plan to identify the family who needs the most assistance with creating personalized plans to get them back on track to independence. We will block out an hour a week to sit down, make budget plans healthy food plans, and assist with job hunting. We will also provide them a temporary allowance to make sure that they don’t lose their current housing and can provide food and get their kids to and from school, as well as transportation to job interviews.

I’ve assisted many families in the past two years before receiving my 501(c)(3), and I’m saddened to say I couldn’t help everybody with only limited funds and resources. As someone who was a victim of homelessness and sometimes had nowhere to go or no food to eat, I want to change that situation for as many families as I can

I will continue to fundraise and stretch out the resources that I currently have to make sure that I can assist all the families that I can. The most important part of this project is to help people and making sure they don’t lose their current housing and that they have food and clothing to provide for themselves and their children, as those are necessities that a lot of families are unable to afford

We don’t discriminate against anybody regardless of their situation or circumstances, whether race, gender, nationality, religion, age, disability, or familial status (pregnancy, etc.).

We will assist families with rental assistance and utility assistance. Families to be determined who are suffering from financial difficulty and are unable to pay their bills at that time will be put on a plan for service for the first month and then a plan to get them back on their feet, Whether it be helping them

find a job or helping them promote within their current company. We will also assist with moving costs for families unable to find financial assistance to move their families into safer neighborhoods. We will help with transportation costs to get kids to and from school and parents to and from work, whether an interview or their current job. With the plan that we create with her family room to let them know this is just temporary assistance and then a plan created To make sure they’re not put in this situation again

Our goal is to provide families with assistance by creating personalized plans to get them back on track to independence. We will block out an hour a week to sit down, make budget plans, healthy food plans, And assist with job hunting.

We will also provide them food assistance; temporary financial assistance to make sure that they don’t lose their current housing and get their kids to and from school, as well as transportation to job interviews and work.

This is a small plan I have for my nonprofit to change the community.

Our life plans will put them on a one-year track to a better living situation. They would have to follow the budget and goals set by themselves to complete the program successfully. There will be a two-strike policy added in there, meaning that if they do not follow their case plan, they have two shots to get it correct, or they will be is it disqualified from the program.

Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
I have a word for my fellow nonprofit founders. I see a lot of you guys are stressing and complaining that you’re not receiving financial donations. I want to say yes, sometimes it’s hard, and when starting a nonprofit, just like a regular business, you have to have some money saved upfront. You have to be willing to invest in your nonprofit. Pray on it, stay consistent, and I promise you donations will come. Have bake sales, apply for grants, have people donate items, and you can resell it and use those proceeds to go back into your nonprofit, but there are ways to raise money and assist the homeless community. 

Also, it’s essential to connect with local nonprofits, they are willing to come together and help you reach your goal because at the end of the day, Nobody technically owns a nonprofit it’s owned by the community, so if multiple people have the same purpose then we can multiply the number of people that we assist.

But most importantly, make sure that you’re doing this for the right reasons. Pure intentions create excellent outcomes.

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