Can you imagine being an expectant mother or a single mother of small children and having no place to live? In 1985, community volunteers assisted a single pregnant woman and found a place for her to live in a duplex in Frankfort. Soon, other women with similar situations were added to the house. By 1987, the ongoing need for services to these women was apparent, and Simon House was incorporated and purchased its present facility at 208 West Campbell Street in Frankfort. Since then, more than 500 families have found shelter at Simon House. Rather than diminishing, the need for residential services for homeless women and children and other low-incoome clients has continued to climb during the past 29 years.
When all other resources and options run out for homeless women with children, Simon House offers them a safe, stable, and healthy place to live. Beyond housing, the program provides them with encouragement and education to help them achieve self-sufficiency and become productive members of the community. Simon House has six living units to house mothers and children until they overcome challenges that contributed to their homelessness. During 2015, 24 women and their 39 children received housing and other services from Simon House. Simon House primarily serves families from Franklin and surrounding Central Kentucky counties, but if space is available, families from other parts of Kentucky or other states may be accepted for admission.
When families have found solutions to many obstacles and can live independently in the community, Simon House can provide them with short-term rapid rehousing services. Other homeless families from the community also may be assisted with rapid rehousing services. Limited financial assistance and the services of a case manager are provided as they become self-reliant in the community. During 2015, 48 familis (63 adults and 103 children) were helped to establish stable community housing through rapid rehousing services.
Beginning in 2015, Simon House provided limited funding to help families on the verge of becoming homeless to remain in their own homes. Grant funds made it possible to help these families catch up on rent or utility payments to avert homelessness. During 2015, 45 families (62 adult and 85 children were precluded from becoming homeless through these prevention services.
Simon House also provides services to low-income families who may be at risk of becoming homeless because of economic challenges. These families may receive essential items such as food, clothing, diapers and other baby needs, cleaning supplies, and personal care products. They also may receive case management services to assist them in obtaining other services. This program assisted 543 families during 2015.
All clients Simon House serves are extremely low income, meaning they must have annual incomes below 30 percent of the median income for Franklin County. For example, in 2016, a mother and one child would have less than $16,020 annual income to qualify for services.
It is so sad to hear the distress in a woman's voice who is living in her car with her children and to have to say, "We're sorry, but we do not have any room right now." But the fact is that Simon House often has to turn away several families for each family it can serve. Space and financial resources are limited, and the facility is about 100 years old. Given the needs that continue to be presented by its clients, Simon House's Board of Directors is eagerly working toward a larger, more modern facility with adequate room for expansion and play space for children.
Simon House is an independent nonprofit organization that is not affiliated with any larger private or public organization. Simon House depends largely upon the generosity of the local area for its funding. More than 41 percent of the funding with which Simon House operated in 2015 came from nongovernmental sources including individual, business, or church contributions; United Way; grants; and fundraisers.
Every donor is a hero for the families helped by Simon House. Without your contributions, even more mothers and children would remain homeless. Your gifts -- large or small -- truly make a difference!