Children of Families in Transition (COFIT)
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas is partnering with the YWCA and A Child’s Place to provide mentors (Bigs) for children from families without stable housing. The program is called Children of Families in Transition, or COFIT. Big Brothers Big Sisters hopes to serve 30-50 children through this program over the next year.
The challenges and obstacles facing homeless children and teens are significant and can be devastating. Fortunately, there are organizations like A Child’s Place and the YWCA who provide support and services to families without stable housing. A Child’s Place serves students throughout the school year of their homeless crisis. Once permanently housed, they are no longer tracked. By pairing a mentor or “Big” with a homeless Little, and then continuing the relationship once they have found a stable living arrangement, we are providing the child with desperately-needed consistency during turbulent and transitional times.
Susan Hansell, Executive Director of A Child’s Place, states “The partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters enables A Child’s Place to help connect our student and family to a Big Brother or Sister who can stay with the student past the first year and provide longer-term stability, encouragement and support, even after the family is safely housed. A Child’s Place will provide a safety net to Big Brothers Big Sisters through our expertise with our children and families, in the event that the family becomes unstable and homeless again”. The average community-based mentoring relationship created by Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Carolinas lasts more than 35 months. The impact of providing our community’s most vulnerable young people with a positive adult role model who can stand by their side as advocate, advisor and friend, through homelessness and beyond, is compelling and profound.