Mom, Dad, and Daughter Secure Housing After Homelessness From Eviction
Alex and Jasmine Heart had lived in San Francisco for more than 20 years, where they both worked steady, good jobs: Alex in the hospitality industry and Jasmine as a preschool teacher with a bachelor’s degree. Together the family was enjoying what they described as a wonderful life in San Francisco raising their one-year-old daughter Kaitlin, when the pressure of the city’s red hot housing market began to impact their stability. The family faced a series of prohibitive rent increases that eventually led to an eviction when they could no longer afford their apartment.
As the Hearts scrambled to find affordable housing, they were dealt another sudden blow when they both lost their jobs within a month of each other. Their hopes of affording an apartment now dashed, the family moved into a small hotel room.
When Alex heard about Raphael House he got in touch with us right away. But when he was offered a space for his family in our Residential Shelter Program, he admits that he had nothing but negative ideas about what it would be like to live here: “I was scared to put my family though this, but when we first entered Raphael House I felt instant relief. I immediately realized that once we moved into Raphael House it was a sharp turn for the better. I saw great potential to reestablish life for myself and for my family—I held on to it dearly.”
Raphael House provided the Hearts with the stable, homelike environment they needed to reach their goals of getting new jobs, a new home, and building a new life. Two weeks after their arrival at Raphael House, Jasmine secured employment as a preschool teacher. With the support and guidance from their case managers, the family was able to secure housing in San Leandro. But even as they set off to build their new life, Alex and his family stayed connected to the Raphael House community through our Bridge Program:
Raphael House understands that for a family getting back on their feet, even if they’ve secured jobs and housing, they will still need access to resources and support to make sure they remain successful. Through the Bridge Program we qualified for the security deposit on our new apartment and a six-month rental subsidy. With only one income, this financial assistance has given us the ability to build a savings account and has taken away the fear of falling back into homelessness.
Alex’s family received Housing Opportunity Assistance funds from Raphael House, and they continue to attend case management meetings as part of the program. Alex has been working with Raphael House’s career development manager to secure a new job. The innovative wraparound approach that the Bridge Program offers helps to ensure that families like theirs remain stable with housing, finances, and can plan for their future. In fact, 90% of families who actively participate in our Bridge Program maintain long-term housing and financial stability for at least two years. Upon a recent visit to Raphael House, Alex said:
Raphael House is a stepping stone into building a new life out of homelessness. This experience has put things into perspective for us. Through our stay at Raphael House we became closer, more open, and honest with each other. We had a real problem and we had to work on it together and go through it together—and we did. We’ve come out of Raphael House stronger than we were before.
To support Raphael House families like the Hearts as they work toward building brighter futures, please consider making a donation today.