Hearts to Homes News

Services Expanded to Include Rockland County

Cuomo Bridge
The New Tappan Zee Bridge (The Governor M. Cuomo) spanning the Hudson River in New York.

June 23, 2022 Hearts to Homes is happy to announce the expansion of services to young adults aging out of foster care in Rockland County.  We look forward to working with Rockland County Department of Social Services to provide furnishings and furniture to Rockland youth in need.  This follows recent expansions to Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Hearts to Homes’ Board Member Jeremiah Perez-Torres Op-Ed

June 14, 2022  We are pleased to share an Op-ED written by our H2H board member, Jeremiah Perez-Torres.

Opinion: For Youth Aging Out of Foster Care, Housing Support is Crucial (citylimits.org)

Hearts to Homes Expands Services

April 18, 2022 Hearts to Homes is expanding, and we wanted you to be the first to know!  Young adults who are aging out of foster care in Nassau and Suffolk are now eligible for our services. Some of our existing partner agencies already work with foster youth in these counties, so the transition to helping young adults in these new geographic areas will be seamless!  Without you, this expansion would not be possible.  Thank you for your continued support.  We hope you are as excited as we are by this news!

Speech by Tyneisha Fraser at the Open Hearts at Oceana Event March 23, 2022

Tyneisha Fraser is a social worker with Catholic Guardian Services.  She has lived experience with Hearts to Homes as a young adult aging out of foster care herself.  She has also referred eight young adults to us over the last few years in her role as a case planner in family foster care.  Tyneisha brings a unique perspective, as both a recipient and a referring case planner.  We thank her for her thoughtful words.

tyneisha_fraser

Good evening, everyone.

 My name is Tyneisha Fraser. Today I will tell you about my journey growing up in foster care and my experience with the Hearts to Home Organization. My siblings and I were placed in foster care when I was 7 years old.  At the age of thirteen years old, my mother passed away, which left me to grow up in foster care alone. During my teenage years, I struggled with my self-esteem, searching for love and affection from my teachers and peers. I also struggled with losing my birth mother and being separated from my siblings.

While enduring all my adversities in foster care, I used school as an outlet to distract me from my displaced life. I graduated from high school and was accepted into Manhattanville College, located in Purchase, NY. A lot of young adults go to college to party, meet new people and to plan for a career. I went to college to run away from my problems.  I went to college to have a safe and stable placement to call my own. Once I graduated with my bachelor’s degree from Manhatanville College, it was time for me to transition to adulthood in my own apartment.

Read more

What a Year 2021 Was! A Peak Inside the Num​bers!

  • 100 apartments furnished over 365 days!
  • Assistance provided to youth aged 18 to 25. The average age of our young adults is 21 years old.
  • 80% of apartments furnished were in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx. We also provided furnishings to youth in Queens, Staten Island, Westchester, Orange and Broome Counties as well as one in New Jersey.
  • We provided furnishings to 25 women who were leaving foster care while pregnant or parenting. In many cases, Good + Foundation or Bundles of Joy provided several items needed for their child(ren). Synergistic partnerships are so important!
  • While 100% of our young adults have a high school diploma or GED, we assisted 11 youth who aged out after graduating college and 27 young adults who are college students. Education can be a vital steppingstone to success!
  • Over 50% of those who have been referred to us in the last several months desire some type of mentoring relationship. Recognizing this, Hearts to Homes’ volunteers are already actively at work referring youth to appropriate organizations where they can make this critical connection! Stay tuned to our social media for more about this important topic.
  • Unfortunately, too many young adults who are referred to us are unemployed (45%). Hearts to Homes will be analyzing this further to see if there are ways in which we can assist those looking for employment.

Hearts to Homes partners with Good Shepherd Services

Good Shepherd Logo

October 26, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with Good Shepherd Services.

Originally founded in the 1940s as a home for young girls and women, Good Shepherd has grown into an organization with over 80 programs dedicated to meeting the needs of all New Yorkers who live in neighborhoods where inequitable education and scarce resources are pervasive.

Guided by social and racial justice, Good Shepherd Services partners and grows with communities so that all NYC children, youth and families succeed and thrive.

Hearts to Homes is proud to be one of these wonderful partnerships as we support Good Shepherd youth who are aging out of foster care. We welcome them as the 20th partner agency in our Hearts to Homes family.

Hearts to Homes partners with HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services

Heartshare Logo

October 19, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services. Founded in 1869 as a home for working boys, HeartShare St. Vincent’s is guided by the realization that New York City can be an amazing place to live where unbelievable opportunities exist. However, many children and families are not able to realize these opportunities. Just as they overcome one hurdle, they are immediately faced with another. HeartShare St. Vincent’s Services steps in where needed. Each and every day, they continue their mission of fighting for the overlooked youth of this city.

Hearts to Homes is proud to welcome this wonderful organization as the 19th partner agency in our Hearts to Homes family!

Hearts to Homes Partners with Seamen’s Society for Children and Families

Seasmen's Society logo

September 16, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with Seamen’s Society for Children and Families.  Founded 175 years ago, Seamen’s Society is dedicated to securing the safety and well-being of the children and families entrusted to their care. Their programs protect and care for the communities’ most vulnerable children, while strengthening families living with circumstances which can threaten a child’s safety and future. We welcome this wonderful organization as the 18th partner agency in our Hearts to Homes family!

Hearts to Homes Partners with New Alternatives for Children

NAC_Logo

August 10, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with New Alternatives for Children. NAC’s mission is to provide innovative, high quality services in support of birth, foster, and adoptive families caring primarily for medically complex children. NAC’s services enable children to remain in or to be returned to their families whenever possible or to be adopted by loving families. By supporting families NAC prevents lengthy stays in foster care, hospitals, or other institutions. NAC builds on family strengths, provides opportunities, and assists all family members in reaching for and achieving their potential. We welcome this wonderful organization as the 16th partner agency in our Hearts to Homes family!

Hearts to Homes Partners with Martin de Porres Youth & Family Services

Matin de Porres YC logo

June 22, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with Martin de Porres Youth & Family Services.  Founded in 1974, Martin de Porres has adopted a Lasallian culture of care, the foundational elements of which focus on “touching hearts, instilling hope and transforming lives.” They do this by placing the highest emphasis on the building and nurturing of supportive positive relationships with their youth and families. We look forward to being able to assist young adults from Martin de Porres who are aging out of foster care and in need of essential household furnishings and furniture. We welcome this wonderful organization as the 15th partner agency in our Hearts to Homes family!  

Compulsive magazine features H2H story

Compulsive magazine article 2

Sheltering Arms joins
Hearts to Homes’ Foster Agency Family

Sheltering Arms Logo

June 1, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to announce a partnership with Sheltering Arms Children & Family Services.  Sheltering Arms’ goal is to foster a society where every child and family they serve will have the opportunity to succeed and thrive. They seek to address the effects of social inequity in the most challenged communities in New York City, a challenge that Hearts to Homes’ core program was created to address for youth in foster care.  Sheltering Arms’ innovative programs and compassionate services measurably enhance the education, well-being, and development of children, their families, and communities. They have maintained an unwavering commitment to our mission for nearly 200 years. We look forward to being able to assist young adults from Sheltering Arms who are aging out of foster care and in need of essential household furnishings and furniture. We welcome them to our Hearts to Homes family!  

Hearts to Homes Featured in Catholic Guardian Services Annual Report

CGS Page 9 image
Hearts to Homes thanks Catholic Guardian Services for writing about our work in their annual report! We value the great working relationship between our organizations that allows us to support their young adults who are aging out of foster care. The article highlights Jeremiah Perez-Torres, a member of Hearts to Homes board of directors and one of the first referrals from Catholic Guardian to Hearts to Homes in 2017.

Hearts to Homes partners with some of the finest child welfare agencies in New York City and Westchester County to assist young adults who are aging out of their foster care programs. For more information about Catholic Guardian’s extremely important work, please read their Annual Report.

St. Dominic’s Family Services Partners with Hearts to Homes to Assist Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

St Dominics Family Services Logo

March 21, 2021 Hearts to Homes is pleased to welcome Saint Dominics Family Services   as our thirteenth foster care agency partner! Saint Dominic’s empowers children, adults, and families facing challenges to thrive in their communities by addressing their needs with compassion, dignity, and care.  Their vision, to enable those they serve to achieve their highest potential and live the most independent, stable and fulfilling lives possible, aligns perfectly with Hearts to Homes.

We look forward to providing essential furnishings for St. Dominic’s young adults as they leave foster care to embark on independent lives.

Learn how to become a Foster Parent at Saint Dominic’s Family Services

MDRT Foundation Awards $4,000 Grant!

We are pleased to announce that the MDRT Foundation has awarded a $4,000 grant to Hearts to Homes.

Through its global grants programs, the MDRT Foundation is committed to building stronger families and communities around the globe. This year, the MDRT Foundation will award over $1.5 million in MDRT member-endorsed grants to more than 250 charitable organizations worldwide.

Read more

SCO Family of Services Partners with Hearts to Homes to Assist Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

(Glen Cove, NY, February 4, 2021) SCO Family of Services, a leading provider of essential human services in communities throughout New York City and Long Island, has partnered with Hearts to Homes, a nonprofit that assists young adults who have aged out of foster care in their transition to independent living. Hearts to Homes provides household furnishings and furniture, alleviating some of the stress associated with the initial transition. 

“SCO is grateful for this new partnership with Hearts to Homes that will outfit the first apartments of our young people who are transitioning to adulthood,” said Kimberly Thomas, Director of Education & Parent Support Services at SCO Family of Services. “These “virtual housewarmings” give our young people a sense of stability and pride from the start, and are a wonderful complement to the independent living supports SCO’s education, career, and housing specialists provide for our youth.”

Read more

Talented and Treasured

Our thanks for the treasure, time, and talents of these three original Hearts to Homes board members who have finished their term. All three joined Hearts to Homes from the start, and their efforts on behalf of foster youth helped us expand to support youth at eleven agencies.  Our mission would not have had this growth without their amazing leadership!

Read more

Meet Our New Board Members!

new board members
 Clockwise from top left: Nicole Grogan, Debbra Stolarik, Cookie Humphrey, Ameena Makhdoomi and Todd Wood

Hearts to Homes is pleased to welcome, and introduce to our donors, four new members and one returning member to 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 care to independence. We look forward to working with them as we plan for future growth, enabling Hearts to Homes to provide services to more foster youth in New York City and Westchester County.

Read more

Hearts to Homes Responds to COVID-19 Pandemic
with Critical Support

Housing Statistics Show Why Such Support is Needed

  • 77% of Hearts to Homes alumni live in NYCHA buildings throughout New York City.
  • 30 of our alumni live within the 10 New York City COVID-19 “hot spot” zip codes.
  • Layoffs were likely to impact our youth at higher rates than the general population. 60% of our youth have a high school diploma or GED as their highest level of education.

Recognizing the impact that the virus and its economic fallout would have on the youth we have previously assisted, Hearts to Homes developed a program to address anticipated needs. Your support of our May Challenge helped ease financial burdens for these youth. Their needs were critical, and what they told us was not surprising.

Read more

Jeremiah’s Speech

Speech by Jeremiah Perez-Torres,
a Hearts to Homes recipient, at the
Open Hearts at Oceana Event January 16, 2020

Jemiah Perez-Torres headshot

It is an honor and privilege to be speaking with you all tonight.

This honor reminds me that I’ve come a long way. I left home at a young age because I didn’t have any other choice.

By the time I was 15 years old I was entirely on my own and over the next two years I moved at least 10 times. I stayed with friends, friends of friends, and even complete strangers. By this time, I was already in the foster care system, and while I connected with great people who wanted to help me, I still did not have any sense of true stability in my life.

Read more