Hope Through Housing
It may seem hard to believe—but each year, members of our own community are overcome by the same crises that cause homelessness throughout the country: job losses, poor health, mental illness, and more.
When a family is at risk of homelessness, The ARK provides food, medicine, clothing, and cash assistance to help offset a family’s expenses, so they can weather a temporary crisis. In more difficult circumstances, clients may move into The ARK’s transitional housing facility, the Sarnoff Levin Residence. But there is a critical shortage of affordable housing in the community. Inevitably, some families only manage to meet their expenses—even with help—by living in substandard, inadequate housing. They need safe, secure housing as they work to regain their financial footing.
Last fall, with donor support, The ARK was able to offer better housing to a number of clients by providing seven apartments, rent-free, for 12 months. The New Beginnings Program provides a respite from a downward financial spiral, and an opportunity to become financially self-reliant. Each client or family will work with ARK staff—case managers, employment counselor, and financial counselor—to work towards financial stability and the goal of assuming the rent payments on their own after 12 months.
All seven apartments have now been filled, and the clients are expressing tremendous relief and gratitude. Without the added stress of housing insecurity, they have the energy and resources to focus on getting jobs, increasing their incomes, and focusing on their health. They’re entering the New Year with confidence and newly found hope.