Diversified Community Services

Diversified Community Services

Diversified Community Services:   Adult and Family Services

Adult and Family Services

Established in 1928 as a Settlement House, Dixon House is a division of Diversified Community Services. As the longest standing community organization in Point Breeze, Dixon House has been around for more than 75 years and its imprint and rich tradition has long endured through changing times and demographics.

Today, Dixon House provides a wide range of social, community, and safety net services. With more than 3,000 people that come through its doors, the team at Dixon House is committed to helping adult and families in Point Breeze achieve self-sufficiency and economic independence.

Housing Retention Mortgage Foreclosure Mitigation
Dixon House strives to help adults and families achieve self-sufficiency through homeownership and financial literacy. The main goal of the housing program is to empower and equip first-time home buyers and struggling homeowners with the necessary tools to help themselves. Dixon House counselors are seasoned professionals who have local, state, and national housing counseling and education certifications. The counselors, support staff, and administrators all work together to provide a holistic needs assessment and action/service plan. Depending on the client situation, the following programs and services are offered:

First-Time Home Buyer Education
Credit and Budget Counseling
Foreclosure & Homeless Prevention Assistance

The Dixon House team assists First-Time Home Buyers with the following activities:

1. Create a budget and financial plan
2. Build and repair customer credit score
3. Apply for a mortgage
4. Shop for a realtor
5. Discuss the need for a home inspection
6. Provide education on down payments, closing costs, and post purchase maintenance

For current homeowners who are behind on their mortgage or in danger of defaulting on their loan, the Dixon House team will provide housing stabilization services that include the following:

– Evaluating and assessing the clients financial situation through credit and budget counseling
– Educating homeowners in foreclosure prevention and assisting homeowners in determining the most feasible workout options to save their homes from foreclosure
– Providing financial assistance to eligible homeowners to bring the mortgage current
– Advocating on behalf of the homeowner through representation at court and Sheriff sale

Energy Counseling
Dixon House provides safety net services to adults and families in the Point Breeze section of South Philadelphia. Because of its solid reputation, Dixon House also attracts people from neighborhoods and communities all across Philadelphia. The knowledgeable and caring staff of Dixon House guide residents to access all available public and private grants to prevent utility shut-offs. They help negotiate payment plans with the utility companies and offers helpful weatherization tips and techniques to drive down home energy costs.

Examples of Energy Assistance include the following:

Low Income Home Energy Assistance (LIHEAP)
Utility Emergency Services Fund
Grandom Oil
CAP, WRAP, and CRP agreements with Utility Companies
Weatherization/Self-Help Workshops

Parent Collaborative & Anger Management
Dixon House Parenting Educational Program serves parents at-risk of involvement in the child protection system in addition to parents seeking to reunite with their children. We strive to work with parents in the South Philadelphia Area around issues such as re-unification, child neglect and abuse so they can provide a nurturing environment for their children. We service an increasing number of parents referred from the Adult Probation Department to address anger management issues which ties directly to parent’ ability to use appropriate discipline.

Poverty is an increased risk of child neglect which leads to low morale and has a contributing factor of crime in the Point Breeze area which indicates a strong need for Parenting education and other interventions. Our approach recognizes the ‘emotional wreck that families endured as a result of separation as well as the loss of love ones. Parenting education not only improves the life of families but it gives them that vision of hope that things will get better. Our service goes beyond parenting as we continue to focus on the whole family dynamics which consists of various services that we provide under Diversified Community Services.

The Parenting and Anger Management Program arm of Dixon House provide 12 weeks of a Parenting Support Course that meets 2 hours per week. We use an evident base curriculum (Strengthen Multi-Ethnic families in the Community) which is a Violence Prevention Parenting Training Program inspired and written by Marilyn Steele, PH.D.

Our program deals with the Building Blocks for Success:

Ethnic and Cultural Roots
Parent-Child Relationship
Parent Modeling and Family and Community Modeling
Parent Teaching Relationship, Discipline, Society
Childhood Characteristics
Violence Free, Healthy Lifestyles
Various styles of Parenting

Our program also includes topics that deal with the development of the child brain and also the area of the brain parents should be aware of when disciplining their children. We also utilize various books that we received from our trainings at the “Institute of Family Professional.” To name a few, these books include: “Secrets of the teenage brain”, “The explosive child”, and “Yes your teen is crazy”.

Some of the highlights of our sessions are devoted to certain portions of videos:

“Waiting for Superman”, starring Geoffrey Canady, CEO-Harlem Children Zone
“Erin Brockovich”, Based on a true story
“Once Were Warriors”, The cultural of the Abyssinians
“The Color Purple”, A triumph of blinding brightness
“South Central”, Breaking the cycle of hate