Jimmya was facing one of the hardest moments of her life. She and her son two-year-old son Aiden were living in her car after finding herself unable to stay with family due to an unsafe situation. Despite having a job, Jimmya had faced rejection after rejection from the apartment complexes she applied at, due to a past eviction.
As soon as she contacted Haven House, Jimmya and her son were provided with a temporary room of their own through our shelter program, to give them a place to stay while Jimmya continued to seek permanent housing.
Describing the obstacles she had faced with our staff, it became apparent that she needed to start contacting private landlords who were willing to rent to someone with a less-than-perfect rental history. Haven House staff maintain connections with several such landlords in the Lansing area. Jimmya worked with staff to establish a housing budget within her means and work toward daily goals of finding a rental. She began to feel more optimistic.
“I was shocked there was so much help. Haven House kept me accountable for looking for places to live and helped along the way when I encountered roadblocks,” explained Jimmya during a recent visit with staff as part of our Partners In Progress follow-up program.
Jimmya and Aiden were sheltered for six weeks before securing a rental. “She was so excited to share the news with Haven House staff,” remembers Terri, Haven House’s Lead Shelter Coordinator.
Since Jimmya has reached her housing goal, she is focused on saving money, reaching financial stability, and improving her credit score for future opportunities. Jimmya has confidence and is motivated to meet these goals as well. Along the way, people like you are helping Jimmya by supporting the services that haven been so crucial to her reaching stable housing. This includes planning and problem solving meetings with Pam, Haven House’s Housing Resource Specialist.
Pam visits Jimmya and Aiden in their new home to assist Jimmya in developing strategies to reach her goals, and to provide direct access to other resources. According to Jimmya,“The monthly supply list Pam delivers has been one of the most helpful resources. The cleaning supplies and hygiene products add up quickly. You think you have an extra $100.00 a month but you really do not because you need to buy laundry soap, toilet paper, hygiene products, and diapers. It’s such a huge help!”
Jimmya understands the level of trust it takes for a landlord to give second chances to those with evictions. Since moving in to her place, Jimmya has been able to pay her rent in full, on time, each month. Thanks to Haven House’s “Budget Boost” assistance as part of Partners-In-Progress, your support is providing Jimmya with a temporary partial reimbursement of her rent to help her more quickly stabilize her finances. For other parents who may find themselves in a housing crises, Jimmya’s advice is to be open and honest about your circumstances, though it may be difficult or feel embarrassing. Everyone’s situation is different—but as Jimmya says, “Haven House will help you figure it out!
In the winter of 2015, Shelly moved her family into a home after saving for over a year to have the rent, security deposit and other move in costs covered. After just four months living there, Shelly found out her landlord had been renting her home illegally, with numerous health and safety violations. Due to unsafe conditions, Shelly and her kids had to leave home immediately. She did not have enough savings to secure a new rental so quickly. Eventually sleeping on a relative’s floor in another county, Shelly was losing all hope for a normal life for her children. It was getting increasingly difficult to transport the children to