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The names of people given on this web page that were assisted by ARC are not their real names, but nicknames to protect their identity.
Nancy's Story: (Names have been changed)
Nancy received a "Notice to Quit" -- the first step in an eviction process - after falling behind in her rent. She had been in and out of work for two months with stomach problems. She missed entire weeks of work and used up her sick days, and incurred numerous bills from doctor and hospital appointments. Scared of ruining her credit, Nancy left her apartment and was able to stay with a co-worker. She was only to stay for 30 days, and she would not have anywhere to go: her limited family in the area had their own financial burdens and no room for an extra person.
Nancy came to the Association of Religious Communities, Inc (ARC) in July, about 2 weeks after she had left her apartment. She met with the Homeless/Housing Advocate for the Dream Homes Community Center (DHCC) for approximately one hour to explore what her options for housing would be.
During their meeting, the Homeless/Housing Advocate had Nancy apply for assistance through the Homelessness Prevention and Re-Housing Program (HPRP), a stimulus program which provides financial assistance to people who are homeless or at a high risk of becoming homeless. Based on her income, Nancy would need to look for an apartment less than $1,000 including utility costs. Nancy had found an apartment in Newtown in her budget: $700 per month for a one bedroom, plus utilities. The landlord requested the first month's rent plus a two-month security deposit, a total of $2,100.
Nancy's application for financial assistance was approved for $1,000 toward the security deposit. The landlord agreed to allow Nancy to move in with a commitment letter from ARC while waiting for the check. Nancy would be able to move in before her 30 days expired where she was staying.
Nancy has been in her new home since August 2010. ARC's Homeless/Housing Advocate provides follow up outreach to
Nancy, who is thriving in the new apartment. She continues to work full time and is managing her illness with greater ease
Rosa's Story: (Names have been changed)
Rosa was referred to ARC by the Women's Center of Greater Danbury (WCGD). She was living in the domestic violence shelter after leaving a dangerous and abusive relationship.
Rosa met with ARC's Homeless & Housing Advocate to apply for assistance with a security deposit. Rosa had very limited income, less than $700/month, but did have a rental voucher to help cover her rent.
Rosa found an apartment two weeks later. The deposit was equivalent to two month's rent. ARC's Homeless and Housing Advocate negotiated with the landlord to lower the deposit to one and one-half month's rent, so that the grant Rosa received from ARC would cover the full deposit.
In less than a month after first coming to ARC Rosa was able to move into her new home. ARC provided Rosa with an
ARC Angel Welcome Basket days after she moved into her new home.
The Taylors' Story: (Names have been changed)
Ms. Taylor came to us after being served with eviction papers and after she had been to court. She was living with her daughter, who has a disability, and her granddaughter. At court in March 2010, Ms. Taylor was told she had to be out by April 4: Easter Sunday.
She was extremely overwhelmed and didn't know where to go. She only had 10 days to find a new apartment. Our first step was to establish how much rent Ms. Taylor could successfully carry? Answer: $1,000 per month if utilities were included. But there wasn't any income for Security Deposit or the first month's rental deposit, so we worked together on financial assistance applications.
We next helped Ms. Taylor do an apartment search. That weekend, an apartment was found in the right price range -- with utilities included. On Tuesday, the application was approved for a Security Deposit and on Wednesday ARC approved $500 for the family toward the first month's rent. On Thursday, the landlord met with the family to sign the lease and give them keys despite the tight timeline.
By Easter 2010, the family was unpacking in their new home!
Noreen's Story: (Names have been changed)
Noreen came to ARC on a referral from the Women's Center of Greater Danbury. She was staying at the Women's Center shelter with her three children. With few resources and feeling overwhelmed at how she would provide a stable and happy home for her children, Noreen came to the Point of Entry at ARC for guidance in achieving permanent housing.
Noreen had limited resources to work with. She was new to the area and had left a her job because of the domestic situation she was in. She was received less than $800 a month in cash assistance and $400 a month in food stamps. She didn't have her diploma or GED and was having trouble finding a job in Danbury.
ARC's Homeless & Housing Advocate helped Noreen to complete her application for a rental voucher, reserved for victims of domestic violence, and to collect necessary documents to submit her application, such as birth certificates and former addresses for the police report. On Christmas Eve, the family was approved for a Section 8 voucher.
Noreen applied for help with her security deposit through ARC, and was approved for half of the deposit. Her new landlord agreed to make a payment arrangement with Noreen for the balance of the deposit to pay off the balance.
When Noreen moved into her apartment she had no furniture or beds. She had left behind everything that didn't fit in her car when she left her abuser, and had little resources to furnish her new home. Part of ARC's case management program involves seeking donations of furniture and household items to help a person set up their new home. A former ARC staffer person, an 'ARC Angel', had a family member who was downsizing and was looking to donate three bedroom sets, living room furniture, and kitchen items: dishes, appliances and cookware. ARC coordinated a team of volunteers and some trucks, and was able to arrange a delivery of the house-full of furniture to Noreen just days after she moved into her apartment.
Since Noreen has moved into her new home, she has continued to blossom and become increasingly independent. She joined TBICO's job training program, where she is receiving one-on-one assistance to improve her reading and math skills and is planning to get her GED. She is resourceful with her finances and continues to make her monthly payment toward her security deposit.
Burt's Story: (Names have been changed)
Burt was referred to ARC by the AIDS Project of Greater Danbury (APGD). Burt has numerous health problems as a result of being HIV positive. He had been living independently in an apartment in New Milford but had been forced to move due to mold in the home. In his compromised state of health, he was at a high risk living in a home with an unhealthy environment. He moved into an apartment where the landlord agreed to give him 90 days to produce the security deposit or he would void the lease.
Burt was unable to work and received $212 from SAGA (State-Administered General Assistance) and food stamps. He received a rental subsidy from the APGD which covered most of his rent each month. A family friend pays for the balance of his rent and his utilities each month. Burt had no way to pay his security deposit without assistance.
Burt applied for assistance with his security deposit and was approved for half of the security deposit amount. ARC linked Burt to additional community resources including the Salvation Army Emergency Aid Fund to help cover the balance of his deposit. He was also approved for an additional grant from APGD to go toward the deposit. He was able to clear his payments within 60 days of moving into his apartment.
ARC contacted Burt for a follow up two months after he received the grant for his deposit. He is still in the same apartment
and remains stably housed there. He is still relying on assistance from APGD and his friend, and will probably need life-long financial support.