Door of Hope, an organization that transitions homeless families to permanent housing and self-sufficiency, just launched a homelessness prevention program with a goal to prevent homelessness for 50 families in the coming year!
Due to high housing costs in LA, combined with the limited earning potential of low-income men and women, first-time homelessness has increased 16% in the last year alone, with many more families teetering on the brink of homelessness. A lost job, unanticipated medical expenses, a major car repair, increased rent, and no savings are just some of the complex factors that push people into homelessness.
We see this every day at Door of Hope, so we got to thinking: what if we could use our experience and services to intervene before people became homeless? Prevention is always cheaper – and the same is true for homelessness prevention. First, the human cost is lower, as families are spared from the traumas of eviction, school disruption, loss of security and so much more. The financial cost is also dramatically lower: with case management services, coupled with one-time financial assistance, we believe we can prevent homelessness for about $2,500 – $5,000 per family. Door of Hope will provide the case management, partnering with local churches to provide the one-time rental assistance.
Since launching in September this program in October, Door of Hope has served families like Cheryl’s. This past year, Cheryl and her 9-year-old daughter were on the brink of homelessness with nowhere to turn. Her rent was raised, she could not find permanent work, and her landlord delivered an eviction notice. Not knowing where to turn, her church called Door of Hope, and she became our first homelessness prevention client. A case manager worked with her on a budget, helped locate more affordable housing, and acquired one-time financial assistance to pay her first month’s rent and security deposit. A church partner even helped her move in. Now, she is working full-time and paying rent independently. This year, Cheryl and her daughter celebrate Christmas in their new apartment, and thanks to prevention, she and her daughter have been saved from the trauma and disruption of homelessness.