Frequently Asked Questions

How can I help?
  • Make a donation
  • Volunteer to become a mentor
  • Tell your friends about HPTHP
  • Find us on Facebook and spread the word!
What kind of services can a client family expect from HPTHP?
  • Housing: Clean, safe apartments in or near Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood.
  • Mentors: Volunteer mentors meet regularly with the client families to provide ongoing support with budgeting, goal setting, and other family needs.
  • Referrals: Client families may be provided with referrals as well as other needed services.
What is the client family expected to do in the HPTHP?

To sign a Program Contract and to abide by the terms of this contract, which includes:
  • Meeting regularly with the designated mentors and the case manager to identify short and long term goals, and to plan how to work toward them.
  • Actively and consistently working on achieving the set goals so that the client family can develop the skills needed to live independently.
  • Working closely and cooperating with the mentors on budgeting and spending limits.
  • Involving the client family’s children (and/or significant other) in the program for the benefit of the entire family.
  • Attending any scheduled counseling sessions, support groups, or other scheduled meetings, appointments or classes.
Client families in the program participate in the decision making process for determining their goals. All information and records are kept confidential, except when a written release is given.

Who can qualify to become a potential client family?

  • Potential client families must have at least one child under 18 who is in their custody. There must be no current involvement with the criminal justice system or substance abuse. Preference is given to families that have resided in Chicago’s mid southeast side.
  • HPTHP accepts referrals of client families from congregations, homeless shelters, and qualified social service agencies.
  • At this time we have the funding to rent two or three market rate apartments, for families transitioning from homelessness to economic independence. Consequently, we do not have openings too often.

What is a Mentor?

The mentor is the primary point of contact between HPTHP and the client family. Mentors meet weekly with the client family in the apartment provided to the client by HPTHP. Mentors usually work with the client in teams of 2 and may meet together or separately with the family. The mentor works with the family on goals that the family has set to become independent, including permanent housing, employment, education, parenting and child care, mental and physical health, credit and money management, and transportation. The mentor is a generalist, helping the family solve any problems that may impede their progress towards ending their homelessness. The family’s goals are met on a gradual, incremental basis, through activities chosen by the client with the assistance of the mentor. The mentor is not expected to provide professional services, however, but may assist the family in finding professional services as needed.

Prospective mentors are required to attend a training session, arranged by the case manager. During training, mentors learn why families become homeless and become acquainted with HPTHP’s mission, vision, history and organizational structure. Mentors will be able to distinguish between the role of the lay-mentor versus the professional social worker. Trained mentors then participate in the selection process for the family with which they will work.

What qualifications should Mentors have?

  • Maturity and wealth of life experience, including independent living and a career.
  • Excellent emphathetic listening and personal coaching skills.
  • Ability to keep appointments, in particular weekly sessions with the family (most weeks of the year) for up to two years.
  • Ability to maintain a non-judgmental attitude toward the client.
  • Ability to work with other mentors. (Mentors may decide to work separately with the client at different times or specialize with respect to issues).
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality in matters pertaining to the client family.