Success Story 2018: HCRP
Lifeline Inc.’s HCRP Program (Homeless Crisis Response Program) provides housing assistance for Lake County adults who are experiencing homelessness. This program provides assistance with security deposit, an average of three months of rent, utility deposit and/or utility arrears.
To be eligible for this program, an individual must be residing at a homeless or domestic violence shelter where the shelter will complete a referral. An individual can also be homeless residing on the streets and referred by Extended Housing’s Homeless Outreach Program.
Earlier this year, Jennifer was enrolled in The HCRP Program. Prior to her enrollment, she had been struggling after a rough three month period where she broke her leg, lost her job and was evicted after being unable to pay her rent. With nowhere else to go, Jennifer turned to an ex-boyfriend for help. He allowed Jennifer to stay with him in his home, but the environment quickly turned volatile. “Within one week he was doing drugs in the apartment,” Jennifer said. “He was emotionally and verbally abusive and sometimes violent when he was using. I am a recovering addict and I realized that this was a poor decision on my part.”
Jennifer quickly entered Womensafe, which is a domestic violence shelter. While at the shelter, Jennifer contacted Lifeline to learn about available resources and was informed of The HCRP Program. Jennifer had recently started a new job, but did not have enough money saved to move. She was relieved to learn that there was a program that could help her.
“When I first met Jennifer, I saw a strength in her. She was determined to start a new life for herself and establish safe housing,” said Angela Wrana (Program Coordinator). Shortly after her initial meeting at Lifeline, Jennifer found a one bedroom condo. Angela quickly coordinated an inspection of the unit to ensure it met all safety requirements. Jennifer found this aspect of the program both helpful and reassuring. “Angela inspected the condo which was good, because there were issues that needed to be addressed before I moved in. If there wasn’t an inspection, I would have had to deal with that on my own.” Once the unit passed inspection, Jennifer received assistance with her utility arrears, security deposit and three months of rent to help her get back on her feet.
When asked how she feels the program helped her, Jennifer responds ” My main goal was to achieve independence. The program made that possible. Angela was there to help and wasn’t judgmental at all about my situation. That relieved a lot of stress. Everyone makes bad choices at one point or another in their lives but learning from them is important. Going through this program helped me see what the priorities are in my life, which are remaining sober and not having to rely on anyone to pay my bills and tell me how to live my life.”
For anyone reading this story and possibly in a domestic violence situation as well, Jennifer would like to share some advice. “Seek help! There are people and programs out there that will help you. Also be persistent and communicate with agencies that are trying to help you because this shows them that you have a plan and are serious about changing your life.”