Creative Housing Plan

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Karen Johnson and her three young daughters left their home due to a domestic violence situation. The family entered into the Laurel House for shelter and support. When Karen first met with her Norristown Housing Stability Coach in early May, she had a plan in mind that seemed workable. Her mother would live with them and, though her mother was not in the program, she would pay half the rent since she receives benefits. Karen was able to find a job on her own to help support her family.

Karen quickly found a unit she wanted to rent when she walked by a home on Marshall Street where a landlord was clearing things out. There was no For Rent sign yet, but Karen talked to him and he was interested in renting to her, but had not worked with Your Way Home. Housing Locator Ann Garcia called the landlord, explained the program and mentioned some of the successes and the supports that would be made available. He said the large 3-bedroom unit he was sprucing up would be $850 a month. That seemed to be a manageable rent for the family, so Ms. Garcia requested an inspection.

Karen and her mom moved in July 2nd and quickly turned the unit into a home. Terry brought items from her previous unit and Ms. Garcia provided them beds and cleaning supplies to start out. They also received some donated home furnishings from the Laurel House and Hope Community Church. Karen is working about 20 hours a week and her mom helps to watch the children. She agreed that she would like to receive additional job counseling services through the Commerce Department’s Your Way Home program to obtain a better position.

Karen and Terry like the quiet and the fact that the children have space to play and a room that is theirs. The mother and daughter are comfortable in taking a team approach to make their new situation work and can openly talk about their concerns and make a plan.