If you take a look in the “memo” section of this check it says “1st loan payment,” and it’s exactly that!  The check is from Tahnia, the first recipient of our Homelessness Prevention Program’s “Pay It Forward Fund” who has moved from being at-risk of losing her home…to stabilized in her home and launched as an entrepreneur!

“I never thought it could happen to me…to us.” That’s what Tahnia said when she found herself caught in a financial crisis, largely out of her control. A single mom, Tahnia worked hard as a teacher at a Private School to be able to provide food on the table, her monthly rent, and a loving home for her 16-year-old daughter, Mya. But, life quickly changed direction when the school where she worked lost their accreditation and laid off the teaching staff.

Around that same time, the apartment building that had been their home for almost two decades was sold. The new owners were being aggressive in their attempts to move out the existing tenants. With no income, no employment, and facing eviction, Tahnia couldn’t afford move-in costs for a new place.  She didn’t know where to turn for help or what to do.  It was then that Tahnia was introduced to Door of Hope’s Homelessness Prevention Program. We immediately connected her with one of our case manager’s who worked with her to come to an agreement with her landlords. Through our program we also provided financial assistance that helped her pay the arrears mandated by the court order.Already, Tahnia has found new employment (she landed another teaching job and is working on starting independent tutoring and budget coaching businesses), and through case management, she is identifying ways to generate new streams of income in order to maintain her housing.

Door of Hope launched the “Pay it Forward Fund” several months ago – a special fund for families like Tahnia’s.  The fund will be used to empower families to get back on their feet — and once they do they start to pay back their assistance.  It builds financial accountability and responsibility for them, and it stretches the dollars further for us.