In January 2017, Jada*, her husband, and their children were displaced from their home when their landlord evicted them without warning. Initially, Jada and her husband considered staying at a motel but realized that their available funds wouldn’t cover the expense. So, without any local friends or family to turn to for help, Jada found herself in desperate need of Carpenter’s Shelter’s support.
When Jada realized that her family would need to enter residential shelter, she felt “afraid and ashamed.” Stereotypes about homelessness had led her to believe that shelters were “for the poorest of people and I definitely didn’t feel as though [my family] fit in the class.” However, upon entering residential shelter, Jada discovered that Carpenter’s Shelter clients include “People from all walks of life [who] have been displaced for many different reasons.”
Jada’s fears subsided and she began to focus on her primary goal: returning her family to a home of their own. She worked with her case manager, improved her credit, attended budgeting workshops, and met with our Housing Locator. Meanwhile, her husband met with a job coach to improve his employment opportunities. They supported their children with shelter-provided clothes, diapers, and transportation, which allowed them save their money for the future.
By March 2018, Jada’s collaboration with our Housing Locator paid off and they successfully secured housing through the Alexandria Redevelopment Housing Authority. After only two months in shelter, Jada and her family moved out–a transition made smoother when Carpenter’s Shelter covered the security deposit and the first month’s rent. They remain in stable, permanent housing today! Plus, as of the writing of this story, Jada works for a local nonprofit to support her family and to prepare for buying a house.
When Jada reflects on her experience at Carpenter’s Shelter, she says, “Even though going to a shelter is a humbling experience, I’m glad [Carpenter’s Shelter] is in place to assist those in need… They gave my family temporary stability and a new start, and for that I’m grateful!”
*Identity has been changed for confidentiality reasons.