Sharing Lives: 2024 Spring Newsletter

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Local Family Finds Path to Home Despite Extraordinary Circumstances

The shrinking affordability in Clark County has squeezed working low-income families out of rentals and into the streets—with limited resources to accommodate the unique challenges that face families. Personal stories, like this one, challenge our assumptions about what homelessness looks like, who can experience it and how a family can stay together under extraordinary circumstances.

Kaylee, her husband and four children arrived at Share Orchards Inn last January. Although her husband was working full-time, their monthly income could not cover their rent and living expenses and they were evicted.

Click here or on the image above to download a PDF version of the 2024 Spring Edition of Sharing Lives to read all the stories from this quarter.

After speaking at length with the family, Shana, a Share Housing Navigator, realized that income and health issues were both major barriers for the family. She also learned that the family had lost someone very close to them, a friend who was like a brother to Kaylee and her husband, and it had taken an emotional toll on them all.

Raising the family’s income was a top goal. While a full-time job for Kaylee would help financially, it would come at the expense of taking care of her personal health and the daily needs of raising four children. So, Shana recommended and helped them to apply for Social Security Insurance (SSI) for both Kaylee and her children, to support mental and behavioral health struggles; she also searched for part-time employment. They also outlined a plan to pay down more than $6,000 in property debt.

But life continued to present challenges. In early May, Kaylee and her husband decided to separate; he moved out of the shelter. And on May 18, Kaylee suffered a stroke. Shana recalled how incredible it was that Kaylee knew what was happening to her body; she was able to immediately get help from fellow residents and staff, greatly reducing the damage to her body. She spent the next few weeks recovering and ultimately welcomed in a family friend, Pat*, to live with them in shelter to help care for the children.

In July, the search for housing paid off when Kaylee received a letter and intake packet from a subsidized three-bedroom apartment, which mean the unit would be affordable based on her income. The apartment complex was not yet open, so they patiently waited through August and September for the leasing office to begin operations.

The path to home was finally in sight. Shortly after Thanksgiving, Kaylee signed the lease and received the keys to her new apartment, with a monthly rent of just $159. Shana shared information with Kaylee about local resources to help manage their monthly budget. When she circled back to check on them a few weeks later, she was delighted to find the family thriving in their new home.

*Name changed for anonymity.

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