James and Carrie became homeless almost immediately after James lost his job. They have an eight year old daughter, who was staying with them in a hotel room, but after they couldn’t afford the room anymore they ended up pitching a tent down on 1st and Iron. The Outreach team made the initial contact with them, and learned that the family chose to allow their daughter to stay with her Grandmother rather than have her continue to stay with them at “Tent City”. They came to St. Martin’s in their car, barely able to afford the gas it took to get here. They requested information about housing and employment, and they both seemed eager to return to the workforce if they could obtain permanent housing. The family was screened for the MFA Rapid Rehousing Program, and they were determined to be eligible for assistance that would allow them to be a family again, all under the same roof. The MFA program paid for the application fees, and for the initial move in costs, once the couple had found a 2 bedroom apartment that they qualified for. The couple brought their daughter with them to a follow up appointment, at which time the young child indicated that she had never had her own room before. She selected some donated items, to decorate her new room. After moving into their new apartment, James and Carrie began actively seeking employment. Ernest with Job Development referred Carrie to an internship position at the Coffee Shop, and she started working there two weeks ago. James is actively seeking employment, and finding success in interviewing with the resume that was created for him by the Job Development team.
This is such a great testament of all the departments in our organization coming together to help those who need it the most. Kudos, to SMHC staff in Outreach, Housing, Job Development, and of course, the Coffee Shop: and most of all kudos to the family who fought to be together again in better circumstances.