Solving Homelessness Together

Success Stories

John was sleeping on the streets of Columbus after losing his home and income as a result of a lay off in 2009. He was born in Russell County, Alabama and has lived in the Columbus area his entire life.

Homeless Services

John was sleeping on the streets of Columbus after losing his home and income as a result of a lay off in 2009. He was born in Russell County, Alabama and has lived in the Columbus area his entire life. This was the first time he had been in this situation. The Homeless Resource Network assisted him with bus tickets, mail service, storage service and assistance obtaining his birth certificate and later a valid state identification card. From July 2009 through July 2010, he utilized our bus tickets to seek employment and get to medical appointments. Through that process he was apply to meet his medical needs and obtain employment. He has been gainfully employed and in permanent housing since August 2010. He has even been able to purchase a reliable vehicle to meet his transportation needs. In January 2011 he came into the Homeless Resource Network to thank us for everything we did for him and to let us know without it he would not be where he is today.
  Jane survived a traumatic childhood with an abusive, drug addicted mother. Starting at 14 years of age, Jane’s mother forced her to engage in sexual activity with men in exchange for drug money. To cope with the horror of her life, she began drinking and using drugs leading to a long history of substance abuse and depression. Over the years she had numerous episodes of homelessness. She entered a transitional shelter for chemically dependent homeless women in June 2005 and was referred to the Homeless Resource Network for assistance with bus tickets and identification. After several months of treatment she was discharged with nowhere to go. She began sleeping on the streets and reverting back to what she knew; alcohol, crack and prostitution. The Homeless Resource Network provided a place for Jane to receive mail and store her belongings. On several occasions she came into HRN beaten up by her boyfriend or severally depressed talking about suicide. On those occasions, staff would take the time to listen to her and reinforce that help is available when she is ready to accept it. In 2007, she was ready. HRN referred her to American Work for mental health and substance abuse services. Since that day she has had several setbacks – jail time, relapses, abusive relationships, major health issues – but she is a survivor and has come out on top. She has been clean and sober for over a year, continues her mental health counseling and is no longer suicidal. She has reconnected with her family, has a strong support system, is in permanent housing, and has purchased her own vehicle. In December 2010 she came into the Homeless Resource Network and told us she wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for us. On those occasions when she was on the streets and suicidal it was the time taken by staff of HRN to sit with her and listen that changed her mind.

 Housing Stabilization

  Mr. and Mrs. Landers work for the same company. The company lost a contract that caused the Landers to lose $1,500 per month in income. The reduction in income lasted three months and as a result caused the Landers to go into foreclosure and get behind on their utility bills. They had initiated a modification process for the mortgage but it had stalled. There was an imminent disconnection threat from Georgia Power and Atmos Energy. Funds from the Housing Stabilization program were utilized to pay the family’s delinquent utility bills. On their follow up Mrs. Landers said her loan has been taken over by Bank of America who had bought out her original mortgage holder, Franklin Mortgage. She said they were able to get a modification through Bank of America. She said the assistance from the Housing Stabilization made all the difference for her family. They are doing well now.
  It happens. Mr. Wilson was arrested after being pulled over on a routine traffic stop. He unfortunately had an outstanding warrant issued years ago but he knew nothing about it. He spent 30 days in jail, lost his newly acquired permanent job position, and got behind in all household expenses. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have seven children. Mrs. Wilson is a work at home mom. When she learned of her husband’s arrest she was very concerned but had no resources to bail him out of jail. She managed to put off creditors as long as possible with the hope that he would be released before the family lost their housing. Her landlord was sympathetic but needed the rent money. He filed a dispossessory warrant, and because the Wilson’s didn’t have a legal reason for not paying, the judgment was in the landlord’s favor. An eviction order was issued. Mr. Wilson was released from jail and was referred by the Chaplin at the jail to come to HRN for help upon his release. He was bonded by the Department of Labor and was reinstated by his employer. He however would not be able to earn enough money in time to stop the eviction. The Housing Stabilization program funds were used to relocate the family and help get their utilities transferred. Mr. Wilson has satisfied the court, is back at work and is doing well at his job. The family of nine never had to enter the shelter system or separate the children over several households, which were the options they were faced with had the assistance not been available through the Housing Stabilization program.
  Bill and Pam’s family of four came to HRN by way of referral from Pastor John at Open Door.  They had recently relocated to Columbus from Buena Vista, Georgia.  Shortly after this the family lost their housing due to a catastrophic illness.  Pam’s mother was diagnosed with a very aggressive lung cancer.  The events and expenses surrounding her treatment and subsequent death led to the families homelessness. Pam and their ten year old twin girls were living at Damascus Way. Bill was living at Salvation Army and later moved to Valley Rescue Mission. They had to split up because there was no shelter available at the time for them as a family.  Damascus Way provides shelter for women and children only; Valley Rescue Mission and The Salvation Army provide shelter for men only. During the assessment and intake at HRN, the housing coordinator discovered Bill is HIV+ and was in need of being connected to health services.  The family became involved in counseling with New Horizons and A Better Way of Living Foundation self help support groups.   The family found it very challenging to locate affordable housing that was safe and adequate.  With help from HRN’s housing coordinator, the family was able to negotiate a lease with a landlord that would keep their housing cost at no more than 35% of their monthly income.  The family is now in a stable environment, the family’s income is stable. The girls are back in school and are doing well.