I had been homeless and living in my car for the past few years. I was doing whatever I could to make just enough money to eat. Every day was about survival. I was able to get a housing voucher through Community Action and a case worker that will come to my apartment and meet with me to set goals. I also met with a doctor who explained my mental illness to me in a way that I could understand. My housing voucher pays all of my rent. I also received assistance to reduce my electric to $10 a month. I got a voucher to pay to transfer the water in my name and the water bill is paid too. Since I don’t have the stress any more about housing, it helps me focus on my mental illness and keep that under control and work on my goals.
If these services weren’t available I would be back on the streets. Without permanent housing I can’t find a job or manage myself, mentally and physically. There is nothing more terrifying than being homeless. I don’t have any family at all. Every day on the street is survival of the fittest and sometimes you lose. While on the streets I’ve been raped, jumped, stolen from, and that’s a small portion of what happens – without this program I would have to go back to that and I don’t know if I have another round in me. If this program closed, a lot of people would go back on the streets.
Community Action saved my life. They took me off the streets and gave me reason again. Every single person there was so wonderful and never made me feel like a burden or that I wasn’t important. Through Community Action you really do matter.