December 2018 Client Story

During the month of December, START continued to support a 30 year old single mother of 4 children. Previously doubled up with friends, family; couch surfing while experiencing literal homelessness off and on for at least 5 years, she reached out to START for help. After receiving her 3rd eviction in 2016, START attended eviction court with her in conjunction with a Housing Caseworker from CAC to help support her and advocate for her throughout this process, START and CAC worked together to help her secure new housing. While residing in her vehicle with all of her belongings she had to relocate to Madison in order to find a landlord willing to accept her. She is from Stoughton while growing up here and has little to no support from immediate family; relocating to Madison created more barriers and challenges for her. While in Madison she had to leave her job of 5 years in Stoughton to find new work closer to home as she did not have reliable transportation. While in Madison for 1 year she was unable to catch up on past due rent from her job change and she received her 4th eviction. Reaching back out to START she was hopeful to try and secure her old job and find a landlord in Stoughton who would accept her but she was feeling hopeless. START advocated for her to local landlords and was able to provide direct financial help towards her first month’s rent/security deposit. She was then accepted for a unit in Stoughton which ended her and her children’s homelessness. She has now been stably housed since May 2018 (9 months) and has been meeting with START on a weekly intensive case management basis while working toward her short and long term goals. START completed a household budget with her and works with her on obtaining goals to end her cycle of losing housing through evictions. START helped her to enroll in MATC to begin pursuing her GED while providing the costs needed to pay for the tests. She has successfully secured work with her previous employer and is hopeful to receive her GED within the next couple of months. She has successfully passed more than half of the tests needed for her GED and she participates regularly in their program. After numerous attempts of pursuing her GED in the past, she states this is the farthest she has gotten in the process and relates that to her case management with START. She also has the goal of furthering her education even more through an associate degree/certification from MATC after graduating with her GED. She stated that she wants to be a role model to her children and show them the importance of education, housing and work. START was also able to provide a donated crib, children’s bed and other furniture for their new home. These donated items were delivered directly to the family from a START community volunteer. She continues to express her gratitude through hard work and efforts to reach her goals.