- By Sophie Noel
Stuck in a maze and not sure of where to turn next. This is a common description I hear from community members as they describe trying to navigate the social services system. It can be overwhelming trying to learn about available resources, the intricacies of eligibility, and how different agencies collaborate to provide services. On top of that, folks who are trying to maneuver this system often have a host of other issues they are dealing with such as health matters, houselessness, and financial insecurity. At Thrive, we try to be a lighthouse offering guidance for those who are feeling alone in the middle of this monstrous sea, unsure of where to turn next.
We had the pleasure of being able to offer some guidance to community member Jacquelin as she worked towards finding housing for herself. Months prior to Jacquelin connecting with Thrive, her therapist directed her to affordable housing and Jacquelin was able to get herself on several waiting lists. At that time, she was living in local shelters and was also able to connect with the Emergency Housing Voucher program.
After months of waiting and with a voucher in hand, one of those local affordable housing communities Jacquelin had applied for, The Bluffs, called Jacquelin to notify her that she was at the top of the waitlist. Though she was nearing the end of her journey of finding housing–only a few turns away from the end of the maze–Jacquelin reached out to Thrive to help her in making those final steps. Jacquelin began working with Community Outreach Advocate Britta, who helped her in securing an extension on her shelter stay while Jacquelin was waiting for her apartment at The Bluffs to be ready.
Britta also walked Jacquelin through next steps, answering her questions about the logistics of the voucher program and helping to coordinate with The Bluffs property manager and Housing Works to ensure the final inspection and lease signing went smoothly. In collaboration with Housing Works, Britta was also able to offer Jacquelin deposit assistance, and in collaboration with Furnish Hope, Britta was able to help Jacquelin furnish her new home.
As I spoke to Jacquelin on the phone, she was newly moved into her new apartment and “feeling very grateful.” When talking about her experience working with Thrive, Jacquelin states, “[You guys are] great navigators. You had the answers before I even had the questions.”
We are always willing to accompany folks in whatever stage of the housing search they find themselves. Oftentimes even that final stretch before securing a place can be overwhelming and wrought with roadblocks. We are so glad we were able to connect with Jacquelin and help her in overcoming those final challenges she was facing.
Thank you for sharing your story with us, Jacquelin!