CMHA
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In 2005 the HAP Program

  • Assisted 133 families move from shelter to permanent housing
  • Prevented homelessness for 133 families
  • Provided follow-up stabilization services to 190 families

One Family's Story

Billie is a 23 year old woman with a 9 month old child. Shortly after delivering her daughter Billie found out she had a lump in her breast that required surgery and radiation. Billie had been working for at a medical billing office for 2 and a half years and had adequate health coverage but not enough vacation and sick time. Billie chose to leave of her job and apply for Mass Health & Transitional benefits. She had minimal savings of $2500.00 and felt assured that she would be able to get through this crisis as long as she had health coverage for her family. Because she lived with her Grandmother Billie felt secure. Her Grandmother was good support for her daughter and assured Billie that she could afford the rent on her own until Billie returned to work. The plan that had been put in place seemed workable so Billie left her job and started treatment.

3 weeks into treatment Billie's Grandmother suffered a massive heart attaché and passed away. Most of Billie's family was in Puerto Rico at the time so Billie made arrangements for her Grandmothers funeral and used her savings to bury her Grandmother.

Billie knew she couldn't afford the rent and be eventually be evicted so she contacted her worker at DTA and a referral was made for Billie to seek out HAP services. Housing assistance made a recommendation for Billie to access emergency shelter, continue with chemo therapy & look for safe affordable housing.

Billie's dream was to live in Vermont.  As a young teenager she'd visited Vermont and thought it was beautiful. During a HAP interview Billie said she dreamed of living in Vermont. HAP told her she could live there as long as a subsidized housing unit was located that was affordable.

Billie was in emergency for 5 months when her offer for a subsidy came from Vermont. Billie is cancer free and went back to school for accounting. The housing complex where she lives allows her to work in the office part time and she has support from a cousin that relocated to Vermont to assist with child care.

 


WALK photography by Joe Santa Maria - Kill the Ball Media