Jane fought back the tears until she could no longer. She had found a sympathetic ear – and a passionate advocate – in Gerri Botts Lilly, Community Impact Manager at the Black & Williams WayPoint Center. Jane told Gerri that she didn’t have money to pay the rent or utilities on her apartment and was afraid that she and her seven-week-old baby were going to be homeless.
Jane explained that she lost her job when her baby was born and had received an eviction and shut off notices for water and electricity. She had just been informed that she qualified for income-based housing and an apartment was available, but she was worried about the consequences of breaking her current lease. Jane wasn’t accustomed to being this vulnerable. “I finished high school and I have always had a job,” she told Gerri. “I just don’t want you thinking I am lazy or dumb, because I am not.”
With Gerri’s help, Jane made an appointment with a partnering agency for rent and utility assistance. She was approved for rent assistance and will not be evicted, and her utilities were covered as well. After completing a pros and cons list with Gerri’s guidance, she decided to accept the income-based apartment. And with an eye to the future, Jane met at WayPoint with a partnering agency that will help her come up with a plan to obtain meaningful employment and up to two years of vocational training or college.