Audrey is a single mother of two children, Trevor and Tatum, who together had been living at a local shelter for homeless families for about a year when our case manager first met her. Audrey is an energetic, smiling, laughing young woman who is always in motion; her children are polite and friendly. When they arrive in the office you know it, because their bustling energy fills the room.
Initially Audrey was working a tedious repetitive job that bored her, but with only a 9th grade education and the sole provider for herself and her children, Audrey’s options were limited. Her goal when they first met was simply to get housing of her own and get out of the shelter. The more they met for case management the more Audrey began to expand her ideas of what she would like to do. Our case management with Audrey continued over eight months. Many appointments were spent discussing setting appropriate boundaries with friends and family, banking, debt reduction and the financial and educational future of herself and her children.
As Audrey’s time at the local shelter was nearing an end, she became anxious about housing options. Most of the housing without a subsidy was out of her price range. She was working regularly and had some money saved but moving expenses, deposit and utilities to get started at a new place would deplete her savings. To further complicate things her name was nearing the top of the waiting list for the county’s housing authority. For that program she would need to find housing that would accommodate her children, her budget, and a housing voucher and allow her to move when the voucher became available.
Audrey and our case manager networked with other agencies in the community to assist her in locating some housing that would also provide her with a short term lease to allow for a move or acceptance of a Section 8 voucher should she be offered one during her tenancy.
Several months ago, Audrey left the local shelter. We used federal housing grant funds to secure and rent a three bedroom unit with a month to month lease to accommodate her changing needs. Trevor and Tatum, for the first time in a very long time, had rooms of their own in a two story duplex close to parks and schools.
Through the same funds, it was possible for Audrey to not only get help with her first month’s rent and deposit, but to receive much needed case management which helped her prioritize her goals, curb her spending habits, support her in the development of money management skills, and work on effective problem resolution through monthly, sometimes weekly, case management appointments.
As a result of Audrey’s hard work she is housed and she will soon be able to move into subsidized housing. She is enrolled in school and working toward her GED so she can be a step closer to her long term educational and financial goals from the comfort of safe, secure and affordable housing.