by Sandy Dimmer
Just under two years ago, Hayley and her three children’s lives were much different than today. At that time, Hayley and her children were displaced from their home due to an abusive relationship. Life was very difficult and stressful for each of them, but obtaining an apartment through HMHI gave this family a much appreciated fresh start.
“My life before HMHI was rough. I had no choice but to be dependent on other people to help me house my children. This kept me in a very unhealthy and unhappy relationship that affected and controlled every part of my life and my children’s lives.”
Hayley used her time in transitional housing to work hard and stabilize her family. She was employed for 18 of the 19 months she was in the program.
“Being given the opportunity to start fresh and on my own was the starting point in my new, and much better life. I felt free and structured all at once. Seeing my kids so happy in our new home gave me the strength to change as many other aspects of my life that I could. I am very grateful for the help I received and continue to receive and for the resources I never would have found without all the wonderful people I’ve met at HMHI.”
Rent It Forward Program
In October, Hayley’s family began a new chapter in their lives. They became one of the first families in HMHI’s newest program, “Rent It Forward.” Due to reduced grant funding this year, HMHI was faced with some difficult decisions. In an effort to continue the important work that we do serving single parent families experiencing homelessness in our community, the decision was made to turn six of our apartments into “Rent It Forward” units to partially fund the cost of a slightly smaller transitional housing program.
Rent amounts are not based on income for this program, but are a flat rate on the lower end of fair market rent. Priority is given to rent to HMHI participants who have successfully completed the program and have a stable income, but are still finding it difficult to find housing in the community and wish to continue renting from HMHI. This program still offers support, but is less structured and provides less intensive services than other programs offered through HMHI.
Hayley was happy to become a part of this program. She had been looking at other housing options in the area and thought that this was a good opportunity for her family. By renting through this program, Hayley could provide safe, affordable housing for her children while also giving back to the program that helped her during her time of need. She is proud of what she has accomplished and is happy to be able to help the families who will need our support in the future. “I am very happy for the chance to continue renting our home while also helping families just like us. Giving back is such a great feeling. I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible for my family.”
Recently, Hayley has had another positive change in her life as she has obtained her “dream job.” Hayley has always been a very talented artist and has occasionally sold her artwork to supplement her regular income. She has now, however, obtained employment with a graphic design company. Hayley stated that she loves her job so much that it doesn’t even feel like work!