Janay was 24-years-old, pregnant, and trying to care for her two older daughters on her own. Because she was also homeless, she went to the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing (“PATH”) office. To be accepted into a shelter or receive services, a person has to apply, meet a long list of criteria, prove that they have no one else who can help them including family members or friends who might have room but also pose a danger to a pregnant woman with two small children. On its website PATH describes the process in part…
…they will first be interviewed by a Human Resources Administration (HRA) caseworker, who will ask questions about their living situation and explain the services that may help them avoid shelter entirely, including family mediation, anti-eviction legal services, out-of-city relocation assistance, Family Eviction Prevention Supplement (FEPS), or a one-shot deal through HRA.
If it is determined that these services do not apply to a family’s specific circumstances, they will be interviewed by a family worker to find out whether they are eligible for shelter. Families may be assigned a conditional shelter placement while DHS investigates whether they have any available housing options besides shelter. Conditional placements may last for up to 10 days, while field specialists visit the homes of family, friends, and people with whom the family resided to verify information provided during the interview. Out of this investigation, families are determined eligible or ineligible for shelter, based on whether they have fully completed the application and have no other place to go.**
After going through all of the above, Janay was found ineligible for services from PATH. Then, PATH referred Janay to Good Counsel.
Good Counsel’s process for obtaining shelter and safety? Janay spoke to Miss Morgan in the intake office. After explaining to Janay what we could do – Janay arrived at a Good Counsel home within approximately 24 hours. Twenty-four hours from, “I need help,” to “welcome home!”
Janay then began her journey to success buoyed by her house manager, case manager, resident advisors, volunteers, and the other mothers in her home. Janay was working at the time. She did have to take time off when she had her beautiful baby girl in early January 2019. While a resident, Janay took advantage of the services provided and free daycare which allowed her to keep working after her maternity leave was over.
Janay was motivated to build a solid foundation for herself and her girls, so she worked hard, saved her money, and eventually graduated from the Good Counsel program and moved into her apartment. She is now working full time with future aspirations be a teacher or work in the medical field helping people.
When asked what the best part of staying at Good Counsel was, Janay, said, “I can come home to a thriving house, my room, and just feel at home instead of an institution.”
It’s frightening to think about where Janay would be today if her journey ended in at the PATH office, Where would she be sleeping tonight? Because of your support and prayers, Good Counsel is here to help women like Janay without a long list of criteria, interviews, temporary housing, and uncertainty. If you’d like to help more women like Janay and her children, please click here.
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