This is the story of a young mother of three, how she found herself without a home for herself and her children, and how she worked to make her way to a safe and lovely home for her family. This is also the story of how we were lucky enough to be a part of her journey.
Ms. W helps us to shine a light on the fact that applying stereotypes to our families simply does not work. Several years ago, Ms. W found herself a single working mother in an apartment she could not afford, and, feeling that she had no other option, she broke her lease. She and her children moved in with family members for a little while, until her mother’s death made it necessary for her to look for her own place. The rental judgement that had resulted from leaving her apartment made finding a rental for her family a difficult task. She found herself sleeping in her car and couch surfing while her children stayed with her sister. During this entire ordeal, Ms. W kept her job and went to work every day. She shares that when living paycheck to paycheck, “trying to maintain all of the regular bills and find the money to move is hard.” And then, near the end of last year, a Richmond Public Schools Bringing Families Home staff member told her she may be a match for our partnership program that works to move RPS students and their families who are unstably housed to stable, permanent housing.
Ms. W and Bringing Families Home School Housing Navigator Destiny Hunter Worked Together to Find the Perfect Home for the W Family
Ms. W began working with HFF’s Bringing Families Home School Housing Navigator Destiny Hunter. Destiny shares: “Ms. W is an absolute pleasure to work with. She is extremely diligent about her goals and getting things done for herself and her family.”
The first step Ms. W and Destiny needed to take was to find an apartment that suited the W family with a landlord willing to work with them. The Bringing Families Home program partners with landlords ready to give our families a chance. This partnership assists not only our families looking for apartments, but also the landlords, who benefit by units that remain occupied and by HFF’s pledge to support our families along the way, allowing them to remain stably housed. Ms. W and Destiny worked together to find an apartment Ms. W loves. Ms. W shared that she is grateful not only for the Bringing Families Home program, but for all that Destiny did to help her in her journey. “Destiny is an angel. I pray for her every day. She helped me and advocated for me. I have two boys and a girl, and I wanted them to have their own home. I love our new home! It’s beautiful and everything I could have asked for. It’s perfect for my kids and me!” When she asked her kids if they loved their new home, they all happily shouted, “Yes!”
Breaking Down Barriers
We are delighted to share this success story of a young mother who had a job and a stable income, but like many parents was still living paycheck to paycheck. She needed help finding a landlord willing to look past her rental judgement and give her a chance. Bringing Families Home was able to help match her with a landlord who had a beautiful newly renovated apartment that she loved. It was also able to provide her with application fees, an apartment deposit, and even Christmas gifts for her children. These little boosts removed her barriers to permanent housing and allowed her to move her family to a home of their own. Ms. W has worked incredibly hard to get where she is. As Destiny says, “She works constantly but still somehow balances everything that is important.”
A Happy Ending
We are thankful to have been able to be a part of this wonderful story. We send the warmest of Congratulations to Ms. W and her children, and also huge thanks to her for allowing us to share her success! We hope they all continue to love their new home, and that it brings them all the happiness in the world.