In 2010 I was given the opportunity to work with a particular client who was extremely motivated, self-driven and overall a very positive individual. She was a part of an organization that assisted young mothers called alternative housing.

My original meeting was to educate and assist the client with housing searches in the county of Fairfax. However, the case worker informed me that since the client had been so diligent on pursuing her career in becoming a dental assistant, the case worker, felt the client could qualify for the HCV; Housing Choice Voucher. The client was referred to GSH for the HCV but unfortunately they were not selected. The client continued her education and obtained an associate in dental assistance. A year went by and I eventually lost track of her case, since she did not need my assistance.

Last year the same case worker contacted my organization for help for the client with her housing search and counseling. I was unhappy to be informed that she had gone through so many rough patches during the course of my absence from the beginning till now. My client had finished school, had secured employment as a dental assistance and finally would be able to afford permanent housing for her children, which she has always worked for and deserved. However, over time everything would change, when one evening she was brutally assaulted and injured by the father of her children. The client suffered horrible injuries, including the permanent loss of her left.

At our meeting I was sadly alerted that the client only had a month to find housing otherwise she was facing homelessness. Angela, her case worker rapidly applied for the Bridging Affordability (BA) program in addition to reaching out to the NVFS, Northern Virginia Family Services, to find out if my client would be eligible for the program. I felt deep sympathy to have known the client through so many years ago, and now just finding out that all her hard work was ripped into pieces, when she was so close to that success she had always wanted. On Thanksgiving Day, while everyone was giving thanks for their wonderful blessings, my client was being evicted from her two year stable household in addition to losing the majority of her belongings. Fortunately, after pleading and begging my client was accepted into a shelter until BA could be approved. We were so happy to have received the news that my client finally after so many interviews with the NVFS was approved for the BA on New Year’s. My client and I have begun our housing search and have identified a couple potential units for her and her children. Today my client applied for one of those units and it is waiting to be approved.

By: Paula Lewis, GSH Housing Locator