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Resident Stories Uncategorized

“Life doesn’t stop because you’re homeless”

By Jessica Parker

When Danielle and Ernie were evicted from their home, they stayed with friends and family, and then in motels. They had nowhere left to go and wanted to provide stability for their three-year old son, Keegan, so when a family space opened up at Cross Roads House, they moved in. “We were so frantic and we didn’t know where the resources were. Cross Roads House gave us a secure place to stay with Keegan, where we could catch up on things and just figure it out.”

Danielle worked very closely with Case Manager Angel to set and achieve the goals that would move the family forward. “Life doesn’t stop because you’re homeless. It’s almost like you’re standing still and you’re in the middle of New York traffic, the cars are all speeding around you, and you’re thinking, ‘How did I get here? Why am I here now?’ And you’re running trying to catch up with everyone else. Sometimes I would get overwhelmed. In moments like that, Angel was able to help me organize things out. She was always right there when I needed her.”

While at Cross Roads House, Ernie worked full time, Danielle completed coursework so she can get her aesthetician license, and Keegan was enrolled in Head Start.

The family’s case manager connected them with VA services. “We had never looked into the VA before, and we were able to find the SSVF program which helped with our deposit.”

Danielle found the current housing market difficult to navigate. “Our challenges in finding housing were substantial. We have two evictions on our record, so when a landlord would see that, they would say no. It was extremely competitive.”

Danielle put together envelopes with information about the family – their employment status, income, tax returns, and personal recommendations – which she gave to potential landlords. She feels it helped people to look beyond the family’s past and see their potential.

After an extensive search, and with assistance from their case manager and staff, Danielle and Ernie found a home. “I don’t want to think about where we’d be if we hadn’t come to Cross Roads House. The reality is, if we didn’t have this place, we wouldn’t have each other. Now we actually get to move into an apartment and know that if something happens we have help. And that’s huge.”

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Last year Cross Roads House provided 38,167 bed nights of shelter to 527 people, including 31 families with 58 children. Contributions at all levels from people like you are needed to help us provide shelter and services to homeless families and individuals.
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