A New Look for Hearts to Homes’ Board!

Headshots of new board members

Hearts to Homes’ Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Nicole Grogan has been elected President of the board, Mary Leitner is the Vice President, and Cathy Murphy steps into the role as Treasurer.  Gloria Dios continues her role as board secretary.  Mary Theresa McCombe, co-founder of Hearts to Homes, has stepped down as board President, but will continue as Executive Director of the organization.

Hearts to Homes also began its new fiscal year by welcoming six new members to the board and saying good-bye and thank you to four outgoing board members, three of whom have been with us since Hearts to Homes was founded! 

Read more

Support That Doesn’t Stop at the State Line

welcome matt

Your donations to Hearts to Homes may reach farther than you realize!

Meet Sara Scott, a former foster care youth who had just graduated from college in Westchester County. Sara applied and was accepted into Seton Hall University’s 14-month accelerated nursing program in Nutley, New Jersey. She remembers feeling both excited and terrified – excited to continue her education and pursue a future career, but terrified because there was no housing available for the program.

“How could I afford to buy all the necessities needed to furnish an apartment for the first time?” Sarah recalls.

After reaching out to different foster agencies for help, she was referred to Hearts to Homes for assistance.

Read more

Hearts to Homes thanks CBS News for covering our story and highlighting the impact our services make!  Happy National Foster Care Month!

CBS video screen shot

May is National Foster Care Month, and we’re building futures, one apartment at a time.

building futures banner

National Foster Care Month is an opportunity for us to celebrate foster youth and the people who provide them with love and support. Please join Hearts to Homes as we launch our May 2023 challenge to raise $30,000 to furnish 12-15 new homes – and build futures, one apartment at a time.

Every dollar donated will help provide the essentials to furnish a first apartment and support a young adult leaving foster care. Whether your donation helps purchase pots and pans, a comforter, a shower curtain or a coffee table – you will be helping create a stable, healthy home.

When we help provide the essentials to furnish a first apartment for these young adults, we help them create a space of their own – and improve the odds that they remain in their apartments, in school or employed, and parenting their children.

Join us in helping young adults aging out of foster care make a fresh start. We have the opportunity to receive a $15,000 match when we raise the first $15,000 in GoFundMe donations! Visit our GoFundMe link to make a donation today https://gofund.me/cb092217

The need for our services is greater than ever – hundreds of young adults aged 18-21 years of age will transition out of foster care in the NYC area this year (our geographic coverage includes Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Nassau, and Suffolk). Most leave foster care with few possessions and no family to help them make this transition.

Of course, you can also donate right here on our website – www.heartstohomes.org/donate/

Or, you can “buy a bundle” of the most requested household necessities for our next foster youth aging out – www.heartstohomes.org/current-campaigns/

You can also find us on Venmo @Hearts_to_Homes and make your donation there!

Thank you for your interest and support!

Hearts to Homes Announces a Major Milestone!

We are pleased to announce that Hearts to Homes has provided over $1 million dollars in furnishing assistance to over 450 young adults who have aged out of foster care in New York City, Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Nassau, and Suffolk counties. The average cost to furnish an apartment and provide essential home furnishings for a living room, bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom is $2,400. Hearts to Homes’ support has followed young New Yorkers, who have chosen to relocate, to Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Connecticut as well as several counties in upstate New York.

Begun as a program of Cardinal McCloskey Community Services, Hearts to Homes provided furnishings for six young adults in 2016. By November 2017, Hearts to Homes had separately incorporated to facilitate expansion of our services to qualified youth at additional foster care agencies.

Since then, Hearts to Homes has expanded our referral program from a single agency to twenty-six referring partners – all of which are either foster care agencies or organizations whose missions are to support foster youth. Today, Hearts to Homes continues to expand services and referral criteria so that more and more young adults in need will be able to avail themselves of this critical support. In 2023, Hearts to Homes expects to furnish 140 apartments for young adults in need.

Our mission is focused on assisting youth at a critical moment in their lives – when they move from foster care to their first, independent apartment. Statistics show that Hearts to Homes’ support is one of the factors that reduces the chance of homelessness, incarceration or inter-generational foster care, instead resulting in more young people remaining stable in their first homes.

Hearts to Homes is indebted to the many donors who have made this possible and to our volunteers and referring partners who work with us each week to make a difference in the lives of these young people!

Better When We’re Together

Close up of happy mother hug cuddle little infant or toddler.

Sometimes, Hearts to Homes supports more than just an individual aging out of foster care. One-third of young adults are pregnant or parenting when they are referred to us for assistance.

Our goal is to help these families stay together – we have even enabled a family reunification – by supplying everything needed for a safe and complete home.  In fact, with your help, we’re supporting more families each year – 19 families in 2020, 26 in 2021, and 29 families in 2022.

Overall, that means that your support has helped to furnish the homes of over 145 infants, toddlers and young children, making their home a safer, more comfortable place to grow and thrive!

Currently in 2023, 83% of our parents are stable and living with their children. In one study, only about half of children born to a mother in foster care remained out of foster care by age two. Does providing a safe and comfortably furnished home help to keep these young parents more stable?  We would certainly like to think so.  The cost of caring for a child in foster care has a terrible emotional cost and can average $50,000 per year.

Through providing furnishing and living necessities for our recipients, at an average cost of $2,310 per family, we are part of a system of support that promotes stability. With your help, Hearts to Homes aims to keep families together and end the cycle of foster care. Because we all know, we are better when we are together.

2022 Brought Hearts to Homes Assistance to More Young People in Need than Ever!

Group image of young adults
  • 123 apartments furnished over 365 days! That’s a 25% increase over the prior year.
  • Assistance provided to youth aged 18 to 26. The average age of our young adults is 21 years old.
  • 70% of apartments furnished were in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. We also provided furnishings to youth in Queens, Staten Island, Westchester and, for the first time, Nassau, Suffolk, Putnam and Rockland Counties.  We also furnished apartments for NYC youth who relocated to Stamford, New Orleans and Houston.
  • We provided furnishings to young women who were leaving foster care while pregnant or parenting. The homes of 35 infants, toddler and young children were made more comfortable and safer with our furnishing assistance. In many cases, Good + Foundation or Bundles of Joy provided several items needed for these children. Synergistic partnerships are so important and beneficial! We appreciate the support these organizations provide.
  • In addition to expanding our services to more geographic regions, we expanded services to those who have two parts of their GED completed and who plan on completing that educational credential.  We also can now accept referrals of youth who have a trade certificate, even if they do not have a high school diploma/GED. We assisted 6 youth who aged out after graduating college and 24 young adults who are currently college students. Education and job skills are vital steppingstones to success!
  • Over 50% of those referred to us desire some type of mentoring relationship. Hearts to Homes can now connect these young adults to this vital resource.
  • Hearts to Homes provided a meal basket to 43 individuals who indicated that they needed this type of assistance during the year-end holidays. 

Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with CASA-NYC

community partnership spotlight

Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with CASA-NYC. Family court judges assign CASA-NYC volunteers to the most complex cases for young people involved in the NYC child welfare system. These volunteers work diligently to provide individualized attention to each child, ensuring their needs are protected and rights addressed while helping them navigate the maze of the NYC foster care system.  They work to ensure that children in foster care are moved quickly into safe, stable, nurturing, and permanent homes – with their families of origin whenever possible. We welcome CASA-NYC as the 27th referring partner in our Hearts to Homes family. 

Meet our New Board Members! 

New board member image
 Clockwise from top left: Gloria Dios, Allison Reich, Jan Jason, Mary Leitner

Hearts to Homes is pleased to welcome, and introduce to our donors, four new members of our Board of Directors. Each of these individuals brings a commitment to philanthropy and to our mission to help foster youth make a smoother transition from foster care to independence. We look forward to working with them as we continue our work in New York City, Westchester, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland and Putnam counties.

Read more

News Report Documents the Impact of Your Support!

On Wednesday, October 12, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt featured the story of Christina Abraham, a young woman who received Hearts to Homes furnishing support this past August. Watch the report to learn more about the impact your donation makes!

Part 1 and Part 2 of NBC Nightly News Films give a more in-depth look into the process of aging out and Hearts to Homes’ program for assistance.

Unprotected: Aging out of foster care (Part 1)

Unprotected: Aging out of foster care (Part 2)