Thanks to support from the Haven, a client is starting a new chapter in life
Amy L. was a single mom, fresh out a bad relationship and living in a camper that wasn’t winterized. “Cold weather was coming, and I couldn’t find a place I could afford,” she remembers. “Someone suggested I call the Haven. I thought, ‘why?’ I’m not homeless. I’m just an average middle-class person who’s fallen on hard times.”
But Amy did call—and is glad she did. She got connected with Family Supportive Housing Service Coordinator Amy Beston who helped her apply for a Rapid Rehousing grant. “It helps you with rent for a period of time so you can get back on your feet,” Amy L. says. “There were so many different stipulations and a lot of paperwork, but Amy walked me through it.” One of the stipulations was that Amy L. meet with a case manager monthly, as research shows that helps people stay housed.
Over the past two years, the two Amys have met regularly, which Amy L. says “has helped me in so many ways. Amy helped me apply for a Tipping Point grant so I could recertify as a Licensed Nursing Assistant.” At Christmastime, the Haven furnished gift cards so Amy L. could buy presents for her two children. She took a class the Haven offered on budgeting. And three different times last year, she had to quarantine because of COVID-19 exposure, which meant she couldn’t work. “Amy brought us food from the Food Shelf and helped pay my electric and phone bill.”
“I had no idea the Haven could help with all of this,” Amy continues. “And the best thing is that they don’t make you feel like a failure. It’s more like, ‘OK, you’re here. What do you want to do?’ They make you feel confident that you can handle it. It’s so nice to have that support.”
Amy is now working fulltime, paying market-rate rent on her apartment, and enrolled in an online Master’s in Social Work program. “I want to make a difference and give back, to help other people like I was helped,” she says. The two Amys are also wrapping up their monthly meetings. “We talked last week, and I’ve done all the things I need to do to get myself in a better place. It’s kind of sad that I won’t be seeing Amy regularly, but it’s good because it says I’ve come this far.”