Finding a house they could afford to rent for their family seemed such a lucky break for "Steven" and "Kitty" that they broke their apartment lease to make the move.
Their fortune held out for two years. Their children had their own yard in which to play, a bedroom for 12- and 13-year-old boys and another for the 10-year-old girl. With both parents working, they could make ends meet. Then, with little warning near the end of 2020, the landlord sold the house.
Steven and Kitty had low-paying jobs and no savings. Walking away from the previous lease left them with a blotch on their rental history and unpaid debt that disqualified them from affordable housing options. Their only family was Kitty’s mom, who secretly squeezed them into her home in a 55-and-older community for as long as she could without risking eviction herself.
The opportunity to stay in a Family Renew Community apartment opened up just in time to save this family from being on the street. As always, though, Family Renew offered this family much more than shelter.
All three children were referred to counseling to cope with the turmoil they had experienced, says the family’s case manager Anita Brooks. Their grades and social participation at school improved, with the boys becoming standout players on the football team. Steven and Kitty focused on getting education and training to enhance their lifelong earning potential while continuing to work. Steven obtained a commercial driver’s license and Kitty, a longtime nursing assistant, is scheduled to graduate with a registered nursing degree this fall.
“They paid off $15,000 or more of debt,” Anita says.
The family moved from Family Renew Community’s Holly Hill Residential Campus for families experiencing homelessness into an apartment of their own in April.