Finding a Home

Feb 8, 2011

by Paula Lewis, GSH Housing Locator

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 with 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 a Housing Choice Voucher. The client was referred to GSH for a Housing Choice Voucher but unfortunately was not selected.

The client continued her education and obtained an associate degree in dental assisting. A year went by and I eventually lost track of her case, since she did not need my help. 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 assistant and finally could afford permanent housing for her children, which she had been working for.

However, it all changed when she was brutally assaulted one evening by the father of her children. The client suffered horrible injuries, and sustained a permanent disability. At our meeting I was sadly alerted that the client only had a month to find housing or she would be homeless. Angela, her case worker, applied for the Bridging Affordability (BA) program on her behalf and reached out to Northern Virginia Family Services (NVFS), to find out if my client would be eligible for the program.

I felt deep sympathy for this client who was having all her hard work ripped into pieces, just 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 home.

Fortunately, my client was accepted into a shelter until the BA voucher could be approved. We were so happy to learn on New Year’s Eve that she was approved for the BA program. 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.