Tiny Houses, Big Beginnings
by Southeast Kansas Community Action Program, Inc.Region 7 · Girard, KS
“Tiny Houses, Big Beginnings” is a two-generational approach to Transitional Housing for homeless families with children who are eligible for or receive Head Start services in Southeast Kansas Community Action Program (SEK-CAP). Families work with the Housing Self Sufficiency Coordinator to create a Housing Self-Sufficiency Plan that includes goals and action steps, leading them to self-sufficiency within a two-year timeframe. Families will have the opportunity to build a savings account, budgeting, job skills training, interview skills, nutrition, childcare, and any other goal that will help them achieve self-sufficiency. Community partners assist with life skills classes, laundry facilities, and banking. SEK-CAP will host the Kansas state-wide HCCT initiative with a different name, “Housing Solutions for Whole Family Results.”
Local Need Addressed
Tiny Houses, Big Beginnings, has identified the local needs, using the Community Needs Assessment, updated in 2020, conducted by SEK-CAP.
- This project integrates services from CSBG, Head Start, and the Continuum of Care to address the need for adequate, affordable housing for homeless families.
- The Housing Self-Sufficiency Coordinator, funded by CSBG, along with the Head Start staff, works with the families to develop workforce readiness, increased health, and financial education.
- A Coordinated Entry VI-SPDAT Assessment is conducted before the families enroll in the project to identify homelessness and vulnerability.
Addresses community-level needs in preventing and ending homelessnesses.
Helps families become self-sufficient and afford housing independently by working with the Housing Self Sufficiency Coordinator.
Reduces the burden on community-wide services. Decreases the burden on utility service providers to issue shut-off notices, reduces the burden on courts for possible eviction, and potentially removes DV victims from a harmful situation.
Coordinated Entry list documents the need for transitional housing services in SEK.
Self-Sufficiency Assessment is used at the beginning and throughout the program to measure improvements in food, housing, income, transportation, employment, health care access, adult education, child education, childcare, parenting, support system, relationship safety, substance abuse, physical health, mental health, workplace skills, daily routine activities, money management, household management, criminal justice, civil law. The Customer Satisfaction Survey is conducted by SEK-CAP annually. This data is analyzed by staff to identify needs for program improvement. Case notes are entered for interactions with participants into the Apricot system. Goals also are entered and measured in the Apricot system. The Tiny Houses, Big Beginnings Program is still in its pilot year; we anticipate that the impact of this initiative will yield results at the end of 2022, as that is when the participants’ term will be completed.
SEK-CAP uses a specific customer satisfaction survey to ensure the customer’s voice. The Self-Sufficiency Assessment is conducted with each participating family to measure impact. An advisory group will be established to develop a resident questionnaire to evaluate the initiative’s impact during the exit interview.
SEK-CAP collects demographic data by different diverse groups that permit the analysis of the impact. We provide an equal opportunity to people of all races and ethnic backgrounds to access the Tiny Houses, Big Beginnings program. We work to ensure that community partners and clients understand the value of effective support and full inclusion by embracing diversity and upholding fairness and justice in our work to eliminate inequalities that limit equitable opportunities.
This initiative has the potential to specifically advance equity in a number of ways. Priority to participate in the program will be given to single parents of Head Start or Early Head Start eligible children, who in the Pittsburg community where the project is located, represent 38.25% minority participants compared to the 6.5% of the area population. Additionally, according to the American Community Survey (2014-2018), people of color in Kansas endure an income disparity which alludes to a social determinant of health due to lesser access to healthcare services, which are available in the Tiny House program to participants in the whole family through Head Start partnerships. Further, other determinants such as access to the internet, which is proportionally less available to people of color, are included for the family to utilize. Specific resources such as English language learning tools are available as necessary to ensure equitable opportunities for employment and self-sufficiency.
Southeast Kansas Community Action Program, Inc.
Girard, KS 66743
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