The East of the River Family Strengthening Collaborative (ERFSC) was established to empower families, youth and communities to become more self-sufficient through integrated, collaborative, and community-based resources.
The Collaborative accomplishes this mission through its partnerships with government agencies like the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) and the Department of Human Services (DHS). ERFSC works with families actively involved in the CFSA system to provide parenting classes, case management and support.
The Collaborative partners with DHS to conduct outreach to customers who are not in compliance with their TANF work requirements and to assist families who have been approved for Rapid Rehousing in locating and securing housing.
Antwinette Thorne, Supervisor of the TANF Home Visiting Program and the Family Rehousing Stabilization Program (FRSP), says that her team helps families locate housing, develops relationships with landlords in Ward 7, and helps families complete applications for housing. They also provide supportive services like assistance with utilities and case management services to help families prepare to become completely self-sufficient.
After living in DC General Family Shelter for about five months, Samantha Johnson, was approved for a Rapid Rehousing program. ERFSC assisted her with finding a place for her and her 4-year-old son to live, and now provide case management services to ensure that she attends her parenting classes regularly, and follows her Individual Responsibility Plan.
Thorne is currently enrolled in school to become a Medical Assistant, and says she has come a long way with the help of her case manager. “Ms. Thorne helps me with the people in the rental office, and with the plans for my future as far as going to school and looking for work. She’s a blessing to me,” said Johnson.