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Housing Assistance Helps Young Family Escape Homelessness

In October 2017, a family came to Union-Snyder CAA seeking emergency housing and employment support. One spouse suffered an injury and was unable to work for a period of time. The other spouse was job searching but had not yet obtained employment. As a result, they lost their housing and ended up staying with family. Space quickly became a concern for the multi-family household, and the couple became homeless, living in a tent in our community.

The couple was connected with Housing Manager, Alexa Stine. At the time they came to Union-Snyder CAA, they had zero income. Because of their current circumstance, they qualified to participate in the PHARE program (Pennsylvania’s Housing Affordability Fund). Alexa was able to assist them in their housing search and they signed a lease within weeks of contacting CAA. She also provided rental assistance, navigation of community services and facilitated the creation of their family goal plan.

Informed by the nationally acclaimed Housing First model, Alexa’s priority was to find safe and affordable housing for the couple. This approach, which is adapted by Union-Snyder CAA, is guided by the belief that people need basic necessities like food and a place to live before addressing other issues, such as finding a job. Alexa worked with the family to find an apartment that met their financial and personal needs. With that hurdle behind them, they quickly went to work on accomplishing their goals.

One spouse now has a job in the labor industry and the other landed a job at a popular local business; both are employed full time. Best of all, their combined income level increased to 200% of poverty level and they have graduated from the PHARE housing program to complete self-reliance ahead of schedule. We celebrate this family on their achievements and for their dedication to achieving long-term housing and employment!



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