First-time homelessness increased by 16% last year across LA County, which means that current families who successfully beat homelessness are being replaced by new homeless families entering the system.
Door of Hope‘s new prevention program helps these families before they become homeless – addressing their immediate financial crisis, preventing eviction, and planning for the future through case management and budgeting skills in order to maintain their current housing. Through this program, Door of Hope is able to significantly increase the amount of families we serve annually at a fraction of the cost. It’s also a great way to mobilize local churches to prevent homelessness: they can refer families to us; we provide the case management and ongoing support for the family; various churches provide the one-time financial assistance.
One family we recently served was the Stuart Family, a mom, dad and son who hit financial crisis when both mom and dad were laid off from their jobs because of budget cuts. After several months of no income, an eviction notice from their landlord led them to Door of Hope just before Christmas. Our case manager helped them secure financial assistance from three of our prevention church partners (thank you, Lake Avenue Church, La Canada Presbyterian Church, and Fellowship Monrovia). With their help, December and January rent was covered while Mr. Stuart started his new job. Mrs. Stuart is now focusing on her own job search, rather than struggling with the anxiety of an eviction and impending homelessness. The family looks forward to once again being a dual-income household and helping other families in similar circumstances one day.