At Home-Life Management Center, our clients face a myriad of circumstances that have led to homelessness and instability for their families. One such client is Katrina, a US veteran who was honorably discharged and faced displacement challenges when returning to civilian life. After serving her country, she struggled to find gainful employment for more than six months. She lost her apartment and was forced to sleep in her car with her young daughter. She was even denied a hotel voucher because of a technicality that made her unable to qualify as homeless.
After reaching out to 211, where housing providers coordinate services through the Homeless Planning Council, Katrina and her daughter were placed at Home-Life Management Center. She and her case manager got right to work on a plan for her to get long-term, safe and stable housing. She couldn’t believe the many resources available to her. Through Rapid Re-housing – which offers down payment and utility assistance, a quick placement for housing and supportive services such as budgeting, job training and others to stabilize the family – Katrina and her daughter moved into her own place in a week’s time.
When YWCA counselors are helping people to save their homes from foreclosure, they often use creative solutions to prevent asset loss, homelessness and further financial devastation. Phillip came to the YWCA very distraught, and had been battling illness and heart surgery. There were leadership changes at his job that were pushing him into early retirement. To complicate matters, he discovered he was the victim of a scam home mortgage modification program, and was referred to YWCA by the Attorney General’s office.
Due to the extreme amount of stress Phillip was dealing with, he would stop by to talk with his counselor whenever he felt overwhelmed. Understanding how fragile his frame of mind was, the counselor took time to see him whenever he had a question. Phillip shared that being able to speak to the counselor helped him to feel more at ease.
Phillip’s first modification request was denied because of his upcoming early retirement. The bank offered short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure as his only options based on his financial situation at the time. However, his counselor wouldn’t accept this and suggested that he consider using the available space in his large home to generate additional income since loss of income was the primary reason for denial of the modification.
One of Phillip’s sons agreed to move into his home and with the small amount of income generated from his rent payments, they were able to get his modification approved and saved his home! In addition, Phillip’s demeanor has changed and he has a new lease on life, and is considering YWCA’s self-employment training offered in WAND to start a BBQ business.
Never Leave My Sisters
In fall 2016, YWCA Delaware started a youth mentoring program at Howard High School of Technology. YWCA has partnered with Barclays Bank, which has provided a total of 23 mentors who are working with a group of 16 freshman students. The mentors will help the students become leaders and positive role models in their school, while promoting a climate of acceptance, inclusivity and peace. Programming runs weekly.
It was important that the youth participants took ownership and responsibility for their role in the program as student leaders and advocates for peace. To demonstrate this level of accountability the students were tasked with naming the group, and so they did, calling it “N.L.M.S” (Never Leave My Sisters). All involved in the program are hopeful that this group can provide a positive and empowering example to the rest of the student body, and that their message of acceptance will grow and ripple throughout Howard High School.