Family Gateway Case Manager, Marsha Hale, featured in Metro Dallas Homeless Alliance blog and newsletter:
When our family moved into an apartment in 2007, the apartment complex was running a special, and so we did not have to pay a deposit or a move-in fee. That meant that we saved the whopping sum of $69! For us, and likely for most of the people reading this, paying those $69 would not have been an issue, much less a deal breaker. Not paying it was just a nice perk. Not so for many of our homeless neighbors.
Take Kisha*, a young single mother, with two boys, aged two and three, who was staying at Dallas Life. With the help of her City of Dallas case manager, Mirka, she found an apartment, and enrolled in a program, that would pay her rent and even her deposit. The apartment complex required two types of fees, before she could move in, an administrative fee and an application fee, totaling $95. Now, you might assume that if the City of Dallas is paying for her rent and her deposit, which are much greater sums, they could pay these fees for her. Not so. The rules of the grant that funds the City of Dallas program, does not allow it to pay these types of fees. Kisha would have been happy to pay the $95 herself, but her only income, child support, had not arrived on time. So, Kisha and her boys were stuck.
Or take Sarah and her daughter Carol, who were staying at Family Gateway. With the help of Marsha, their case manager, Sarah had obtained a housing voucher, and had found an apartment complex that would take it. Sarah was excited to have a place to call home, and it would be much easier to care for Carol, who has a disability, in an apartment of their own. However, the apartment complex required payment of an administrative fee of $149, before they could move in. With their only income being inconsistent child support, and SSI (Supplemental Security Income), there was no way they could afford this. Sarah and Carol too were stuck.