NUMBER OF CHILDREN... 4
ENDED HOMELESSNESS… JULY 10, 2014
The Jason and Kara's family was hanging onto their last rung of hope when they reached out to Project Hope Alliance. Both parents and their four kids had been calling a car ‘home’ for many months. Their small car provided a more palliative solution than a homeless shelter, the family told us. At least in their car they could control their sleeping arrangements. “Safety above comfort,” is how Jason put it.
Jason was a strong and diligent worker; he supported his family by earning money at labor-ready jobs every moment he could, but consistent work hours were rarely available. Always a provider, Jason continued to seek additional work but was at a strong disadvantage. He had lost his ID card during a particularly grueling day in 2014. Jason needed the little money he had for family meals and gas for the car. There were no funds for ID replacement.
We knew Kara was special, as she showed great fortitude when meeting a challenging goal before we were even acquainted: she obtained a Section 8 (housing) voucher. This is very difficult to do when living out of a car! The voucher, however, is useless to any family unless they are approved for an apartment/house by a property manager. Talk about being entangled in red tape, especially when you don’t have an advocate to help you navigate the tape! Background checks, work history reports and move in costs were simply out of reach for this hardworking family.
Project Hope Alliance’s (PHA) case manager (Chrissie) knew the role to take with this family. She stepped in and became the family’s dedicated change advocate. PHA, In addition to assisting the family with move-in fees, also helped Jason obtain his ID card, which allowed him to get a new full-time job as a security guard! With move-in costs paid, dad in a stable job, and PHA working with numerous property managers, it was time to deliver the good news: a house in Huntington Beach was available for the L family to call their own!
At our offices, Kara and Jason gathered their kids together and revealed the good news: they were moving out of their car and into a home. Their youngest daughter’s eyes lit up, and with a huge smile on her face, wrapped her little arms around Chrissie and said, "Thank you and God bless you." The dream of moving out of their car and into a home became a reality on July 10, 2014.
Once settled in their home, Kara was so excited for her family that she pledged to get a job of her own. PHA knew when Kara put her mind to it, she would hit her mark. Chrissie connected Kara with “Women Helping Women,” where she acquired work appropriate clothes. Chrissie also provided Kara and Jason with Payless gift cards that went towards purchasing hardy work shoes. Kara applied herself to finding a new job and within six weeks accepted a position at Olive Garden! Moreover, her two oldest daughters also found jobs (Taco Bell and Dollar Tree).
Chrissie is very proud of this amazing family for working so hard and so fast to find employment in the short amount of time they lived in Orange County (less than a month)! She is also amazed at their overall determination: everyone in the family is now pitching in to help with the rent and house related bills. What a beautiful team!
The family tells us (every week) they are extremely grateful for all the assistance they have received so far. Their days of living in a car and feeling rather hopeless are behind them. We look forward to hearing more from Jason and Kara about and how their youngest daughter is doing in their new home, with a view of a pretty tree. We have a feeling the tree will grow tall and strong under the care of this devoted family.