In September 2018, a series of misfortunes left new parents Adama and James homeless. First, their landlord raised the rent on the apartment they had been living in. Then they lost their car, leaving James unable to get to work. Before long, they were crashing at a friend’s place with their one-year-old daughter, Athina, looking for a new place to call home.
Finding a new apartment with no car and a toddler in tow isn’t easy, and because James had lost his job, saving the money for a security deposit was even tougher. In late October, they called the Homeless Hotline for help and were referred to United Way of Summit & Medina’s rapid rehousing program.
United Way made the search for a new apartment a lot easier for Adama and James. Housing Services identified landlords who were willing to work with recently evicted families receiving rent support and helped them put down a security deposit and first month’s rent.
Their Housing Services case manager thought of everything, says Adama, even whether the apartment was close enough to a bus stop for her and James to get to work easily. And once they found an apartment, United Way did a detailed inspection – from testing the smoke detectors to checking for lead paint – to ensure that Adama, James and Athina could be safe and healthy in their new home. The young family moved in on James’s birthday, just in time to put up holiday decorations. They were one of 31 families that United Way found permanent housing for in December 2018.
“And they still help us,” says Adama. “It’s two months in, and we still have meetings with them.” United Way continues to work with her and James to refer them to other helpful services, like financial coaching through the Financial Empowerment Center. “They actually care,” says Adama. If you or someone you know is homeless and needs help, simply dial 2-1-1 for assistance. All calls are free and confidential.