The paradox Karin faced was heartbreaking.
The victim of sexual abuse and trauma, she was suffering from depression, anxiety and agoraphobia so severe, she couldn’t leave her home.
But now, Karin didn’t even have a home to leave.
In June 2015, Karin was referred to Community Partners from Burckle Place – a program designed for single, homeless women maintained through The Lord’s Place – and met with Supportive Housing coordinator Shanya.
Four short months later, Shanya has already found Karin permanent housing where she was living independently and paying rent.
“The SHOP program is designed for clients with little to no income,” Shanya explained. “In order to qualify, a client must have a mental health diagnosis and they show signs of independent living skills like the ability to pay their bills on time and to make a budget – something that we can help them out with at our Prosperity Center sites.”
Community Partners collaborates with local landlords and property management companies to find affordable housing where a tenant only pays 30% of their income in rent as opposed to the nationwide trend which sees many Americans paying over half of their income in rent each month. This temporary solution ensures that a client can maintain independence while awaiting a much more affordable housing option.
“She’s demonstrating so much independence,” Shanya said. “She’s paying rent that she can’t afford in the hopes of transferring to a much more stable and affordable housing situation. The place she’s in has low-income housing but there aren’t any units available right now. As soon as one opens up, we’ll make sure she gets transferred.”
In addition to addressing her concerns regarding housing, Shanya also worked with Karin to set up therapy sessions to help her deal with the trauma she had faced. Despite being initially resistant to the idea, she worked with Center for Family Services for six months and once she established a consistent routine with her therapist, both Karin and Shanya saw a marked improvement.
“She’s working a part time job as a caregiver and now, she’s able to leave the house and socialize in the community, “ Shanya said. “She doesn’t have any family close by, but she’s made new friends and she remains connected to her ‘family’ at Burckle.”
Karin has since been successfully discharged from therapy, is demonstrating coping skills in dealing with her trauma and is slowly weaning herself off of medication.
“I wanted to empower her to strive on and know that things can change over time,” Shanya said. “My job is more than just getting people an apartment. It’s building relationships. It’s getting people to bloom out of their shells.”