Averting homelessness is a best practice, simultaneously keeping families together and keeping people from the costly societal expenses of homelessness. Bethesda Cares helps keep roughly 1400 people safely housed, each year. Here’s a typical client:
Meet “Stacey,” a single mother of two young children, living in Silver Spring. Stacey had a job as part of a crew, cleaning houses; she was making ends and even saved a few dollars each month.
Then disaster struck, when she fell and broke her wrist. The break was so bad that her doctor prohibited her from manual labor for the following two months, while she healed. Because Stacey is a diligent worker, her boss was willing to hold her spot for her while she recovered. He could not, however, pay her.
During that first month of unemployment, Stacey quickly ran through her savings. She borrowed money from her sister, but even between the two of them, Stacey didn’t have enough to pay rent for the second (and final) month before she could get back to work again. And, had she been evicted and forced onto the streets, she certainly wouldn’t have had enough money to pay first/last months’ rent and a security deposit to secure a new apartment for herself and her children. They could have been forced to a different part of town, a new school district, which would have yanked the children from school mid-term.
Bethesda Cares was able to pay her rent directly to her landlord, keeping her and her children exactly where they were. As expected, Stacey went back to her job as soon as her wrist healed, and their life has returned to normal.