CLEVELAND — Habitat for Humanity and City Mission are working together to provide affordable homes to women and families that come through Laura’s Home Women's Crisis Center.
“All of our families come to us having experienced a wide range of housing instability. The family that's coming to us today, not only faces housing instability, frankly, they face terror,” said John Habat, President and CEO of Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity.
The US census shows that Cleveland is the poorest city in America, with more than 30% of residents living below that poverty rate. Studies also show the average single mom working in Cleveland has to work 124 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment. To top it off, during the pandemic, the need for affordable living became even greater.
“They're going from couch to couch, couch, then family to family to family just to continue to survive. And when you're in that state in an unstable situation, it's incredibly challenging for kids to continue to make progress,” said Michael Hahn with City Mission.
The goal with these homes is to provide stability for the families and their kids.
“The statistics that show when someone is stably housed, it is phenomenal, the benefit to those children. So that family will now be able to break that cycle of poverty...we have to do that one family at a time," said Hahn.
So while construction takes place, City Mission will work with Laura’s Home to see who is ready to step towards homeownership.
“Once we identify that family we will be talking about what it is like to own a house, what are your responsibilities, and she will be responsible for a program fee — a monthly program fee — when she moves in,” said City Mission CEO Linda Uveges.
They make sure the mother is employed, has a budget and is prepared for all the responsibilities a home brings. Once the family moves in the house, they will still get any guidance they need.
“While she's in this home, that caseworker still provides those wraparound services and support for her as she gets acclimated to living in this home. And then we will transfer the title to her within that timeframe, hopefully 18 months, and she owns this home free and clear,” said Uveges.
Their goal is to keep building up homes and families, one project at a time.
If you'd like more information about City Mission click here and Habitat for Humanity click here.
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