Shortly before Thanksgiving, Raven, a hard-working mother of two little ones, Destiny age 5 and Kye 10 months, found herself in the middle of a divorce, had just lost her mother, her one true best friend, and no way to pay the rent. She was forced to leave the apartment she had been in for over a year and a half to move all of her belongings into a small storage shed and to live out of her car with her two young children.
Through the referral system, 2-1-1 Brevard, she was connected to the SOS (Safe Overnight Stay) program at Community of Hope and Case Manager, Nicole. Nicole worked with Raven every single day before she entered into the SOS Shelter in Melbourne- a wait due to no vacancy. Once the SOS Program had an opening, Raven gladly accepted the shelter. She would have a bed for her and the kids to sleep in at night. From there, Nicole and Raven hit the ground running. Making calls to other local agencies, reaching out to private landlords and apartment complexes, they kept hitting the same (and all too common) roadblock: the rental units all required between three to four times her income to even be considered. Working full time still was not enough to hit that requirement.
While in SOS, Raven saved every penny she had in hopes that she would have enough for a place when she found it. Nicole referred Raven to the Coordinated Housing Assessment Team (CHAT) for rental assistance and she was approved to have her first month rent and deposit paid upon finding an affordable place in her price range. With a great deal of diligence and prayer a unit meeting her needs was found and Raven was APPROVED! Lots of tears of joy and happiness would follow. With tears streaming down her face, she would repeatedly question, “Is this really happening?” Reassurance was given and the plans for the future she’d created would be set into motion.
Raven and her children have moved into their apartment and they have a place they can call “HOME”… just in time for Christmas. They will continue working with Nicole for at least the next six months to make sure that the family gets the support and guidance they need to stay housed.