Joe was 18 when his mother was murdered by her abuser. Despite surviving the trauma of the violent loss of his mother and being abused himself, he did not receive any supportive services for over one year. Homeless, he was living among multiple family members and had to move frequently. Finally, the District Attorney in charge of his mother’s case referred him to the Queens Family Justice Center (FJC) and he began to receive intensive case management and was able to access the FJC’s on-site supportive services, including mental health counseling.
Joe’s FJC case manager also referred him to the HousingLink Coordinator, who conducted a thorough housing assessment, and in collaboration with Joe, developed a comprehensive Housing Action Plan that outlined the steps Joe needed to take to reduce barriers to housing. Although Joe had sufficient income to rent an apartment in a privately-owned building, he had significant rent arrears and multiple negative accounts on his credit report as a result of a family member stealing his identity. Additionally, a request to transfer to a new apartment with his Section 8 voucher was inappropriately handled and he ended up in housing court.
HousingLink staff referred Joe to the Financial Clinic for financial counseling and to address the negative credit. Within three months, HousingLink was able to connect Joe to a safe, affordable, studio apartment. He continues to work with an FJC case manager, and with Catholic Charities to obtain funds to settle the rent arrears, and HousingLink provides aftercare to help in remain stable in his housing. And he’s begun to see the results of his work with the Financial Clinic by having access to affordable financial services and a saving plans.
Once he had a stable home, Joe was able to think about his future. He applied to community college and is currently a freshman. He also works part-time and is considered a great asset to his employer, receiving two raises within a few months.
“Housinglink has been nothing but outstandingly helpful in assisting me to receive housing,” Joe says about the program. “From staying on top of me with updates and notifications to making sure I’m alright with anything I need, HousingLink staff has provided me with nothing but amazing services and I am overly grateful to them.”