Families Flourish is a new and innovative program unique in the United States and created in Central Ohio.
The program improves life outcomes for children and their families by creating opportunities for residential and financial stability. Families Flourish’s strategy is to foster inclusivity, equality and opportunity throughout the region by providing 3 years of rental support to enable parents in low-wage jobs to have access to existing rental housing, together with comprehensive life coaching.
Research has shown that coaching builds resiliency. Families Flourish, with OSU’s assistance, created a life coaching model which addresses trauma, helps people learn to navigate systems to solve problems and improve their lives, and avoid eviction. The coaching revolves around four key pillars so families with children thrive and prosper:
Catapult to Change: Living in a Better Atmosphere
Catapult to Change: Healthier Today, Healthier Tomorrow
Families Flourish Coach Tina Diggs
Our Families Achieve
Mobility, moving to a new neighborhood and tenant responsibilities.
Financial CapabilityStability and eviction prevention.
Improved Health Outcomes
Reduce toxic stress to improve physical and mental health.
Empowering parents to navigate their child’s school and coaching for parent’s career growth.
Stability Enables Growth
Once parents are able to reduce their toxic stress, they begin to fully engage
with the coaching and gain confidence to set and achieve their goals.
Reduce stress for parent.
Physical health improvements for children
Parent able to engage with coaching and plan for the future.
Engagement with coaching deepens (financial literacy, wellness, etc…)
Mental health improvements for children and parents.
Economic outcomes improve for parent.
Children’s socio-emotional health improves.
Children more engaged in school.
Additional school resources benefit children’s academic growth.
Parent more economically resilient and participating in enterprising activities.
Children’s academic outcomes improve.
Angela Stoller-Zervas, MSW, LSW, Director of Family Center Programs, YWCA Family Center
Lisa S. Courtice, President & CEO, United Way of Central Ohio
Michelle Moskowitz Brown | Executive Director, Local Matters
Dr. Patricia T. Gabbe, MD MPH Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital; Founder, Moms2B a Community Program to support pregnant women and reduce disparities in infant mortality.
Mark Stewart, LifeLaunch Consulting, an offshoot of Executive Elements
Michael Kelley, a partner with Kelley Companies and a representative of the owners of Oakwood Management Company
How the Pilot Program Began.
The pilot program started with 10 families moving into their new homes in August 2018 and, due to COVID disruptions, ended in July 2022. The families all consisted of single mothers with 1-3 children in ages ranging from 2-12 at the start of the program.
Moms experienced an average increase of $17,000 or 58% in annual income since joining Families Flourish.
They experienced these results even though more than half experienced employment changes due to the pandemic. All had savings to assist them, and none missed a rent payment. All were engaged in enterprising activities to earn additional income.
Eight of the families stayed in their new neighborhoods and