Intercultural continues to provide community basic needs services in the following areas:
Healthy Start ProgramThe Healthy Start Program seeks to engage pregnant and/or parenting women (particularly women in their first trimester of their pregnancy) and provide an array of health and social services including case management/home visiting, depression screening, and optimal child health and development. The program is an effective, community-based approach to fighting infant mortality and low birth-weight babies through case management and outreach programs targeting pregnant and parenting women.
The program has promoted positive parent-child relationships; supported growth and development of the children by building trust; taught parents to identify strengths and learn problem-solving skills; and improved the family’s support system through linkages and appropriate referrals to community resources.
Healthy Start assisted a number of families in recent years by providing clothing, supplies, diapers, and holiday assistance.
Enhancing Parenting Skills Program (EPSP)
The Enhancing Parenting Skills Program provides services to a multicultural/ multilingual population throughout the greater Philadelphia area. The 12-week program is designed for parents who are referred or want the support of other parents experiencing stress in dealing with their children. Parents targeted for the program include those dealing with issues of child abuse and neglect, mental health problems, substance abuse, homelessness, reunification with children, as well as parents who have a desire to develop more positive parenting techniques.
The goal of the parenting curriculum is to teach parents to improve their knowledge and parenting skills in the areas of child development, self-control, nurturing, and discipline techniques. The parenting classes focus on teaching parents, specific strategies to enhance the child’s growth and strengthen parent-child relationships.
Successful completion of the 12-week session is recognized through a graduation ceremony, celebratory dinner and certificate.
The program also provides classes targeted to Spanish and Cambodian speaking parents.
Housing Counseling Program (HCP)
Making Homes Affordable – Helping People Stay in their Homes
Intercultural’s Housing Counseling Program (HCP) has been successful in encouraging and assisting participants to become – and importantly – remain homeowners. HCP enhances their home management skills, to sustain their family in a stable housing environment, and to help them become successful homeowners through wise money management and budgeting.
A major focus of the program, especially during the past few challenging years, has been foreclosure prevention counseling in response to the current housing crisis and its impact on Philadelphia’s low-income families. Intercultural has continued to be a major participant in the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program begun by the City of Philadelphia in 2008.
Intercultural’s Housing Counseling Program has also become a part of the Promise Zone designation, a new federal initiative led by the White House with support from federal agencies, including the U S Department of Housing and Urban Development, U S Department of Agriculture, U S Department of Justice and U S Department of Education. The Promise Zone designation lasts for 10 years. The Obama Administration created the Promise Zone initiative to address the challenges of areas of deep and persistent poverty.
Funding for the Housing Counseling Program was provided by the Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency (PHFA), the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the City of Philadelphia of Housing and Community Development (OHCD). The program also benefitted from grants received from M&T Bank Charitable Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, PNC Foundation, the Fair Housing Rights Center and Urban Affairs Coalition.
Language Interpretation and Pronunciation Services (LIPS)
Language Interpretation and Pronunciation Services (LIPS) provides language interpretation for clients receiving services from Intercultural as well as other City and county agencies and community-based organizations on a fee for service basis. Trained interpreters from our multi-ethnic staff, with expertise in a wide array of languages, provide quality services at reasonable rates. The most requested interpretations are for our clients whose first languages are Spanish, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Intercultural’s Clothing Boutique provided clothing to nearly 60 individuals during a recent year with the help of donations from private individuals and organizations. These donations helped clients improve their presentation at job interviews, at work and improved their self-esteem. Children and infant clothing was made available to families in the Family Stabilization Services, Healthy Start, and Parenting programs as well.