Mom Squad is a vital program built to serve mothers who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. It’s a skills-based service where parents can earn childcare vouchers by committing to 30 hours of community service while taking the next steps toward their own career or educational path.

As parents work to achieve their goals they can rest assured that their children are enrolled in a safe, positive and educational environment with other kids their own age through Square One.

“Participants of Mom Squad come from all ages, genders and backgrounds. At times I work with individuals for an hour and other times it is a matter of weeks or months, depending on the specific needs of that person,” said Torres.

Every individual that comes through the program possesses a different and often times difficult situation. Unfortunately, people who enroll in the program regularly come from backgrounds of abuse and neglect with a lack of support or encouragement. That’s why every participant is treated with care and concern for their unique set of circumstances.

The majority of referrals for Mom Squad come from the Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA) or HAPHousing, including individuals who rely on cash assistance or families living in shelters.

Mom Squad focuses on trying to get these individuals on their feet and working towards a goal. That goal might be to enroll at school, take classes or to begin working towards finding a job or relocation. Job training in Mom Squad includes a variety of skills depending on an individual’s needs and circumstances.  This can include soft skills such as phone etiquette or how to behave in a conflict at work. Other times, it’s training’s on resume building, cover letter writing and applying for school.

The majority of individuals who go through the program are ready to begin the job hunt within three months of joining. Mom Squad then connects these individuals with various job agencies the area such as Griffins Staffing Network, FutureWorks Career Center, CareerPoint and more.

Square One programs–like Mom Squad–attempt to break the cycle of poverty, lack of shelter, food insecurity, homelessness, addiction, unemployment, incarceration, and domestic violence just to name a few.

We have a duty to provide opportunity to those who can’t provide it for themselves. Families who go through our programs often leave in a much better position than where they started. A little support can go a long way in showing someone that they are ‘enough’ and they CAN do it, even when it seems every other voice is telling them that they can’t.

Square One consistently raises the bar as far as early education and care is concerned, but the solid foundation that we aim to provide to these children has no grip without healthy home life and parental influences. That’s why programs–like Mom Squad–are so important in our community. This is where it starts.