Making a home for one vet in need
"Mitch," a retired veteran, needed a home, and the Salvation Army knew just where to send him for help. They referred him to Michigan Ability Partners (MAP) in July, and by August he had a new place to live in Jackson, Michigan.
His monthly rent is $575 including everything. RAAH stepped up to help Mitch furnish his new apartment. They provided the money to buy him a mattress, box spring, frame and mattress protector to help welcome him to his new home.
Mitch served many years in the service and now volunteers watching the door at a local veteran’s "club." He works for the City of Jackson’s Park and Recreation department (part-time) while continuing to work with MAP’s vocational department to increase his hours. Mitch likes to ride his bike everywhere he goes and enjoys watching movies.
Helping seniors with health problems
“Patricia” is a 74 year old woman who is on life support and requires 24/7 care. In 2010, Patricia became ill and was hospitalized and put on life support. She was able to be weaned off. However, since then she has been put on life support several times. The last time being three years ago; she has been on life support since. It took time for Patricia and her family to adjust to the hospital bed, machines, and tubes, which take up an entire room in the house where Patricia lives. The medical bills were overwhelming before benefits were put in place. Her illness and medical bills were the precipitating factor in Patricia falling behind in property taxes.
Now, all medical and support is paid through Medicare, Medicaid and other community resources. Even though Patricia has 24/7 care, she resides in the home herself and is responsible for maintaining the home using only her monthly SSI of a little more than $700 per month. Her daughter, who is her primary caretaker, rents a home next door so she can assist as needed.
The Housing Bureau for Seniors, through its Washtenaw County Loan Fund, assisted Patricia by providing a loan to bring her property taxes up to date. This is just one aspect of diverse services provided by HBS. Relief from the Washtenaw County Loan Fund allowed Patricia to bring her property taxes up to date, which provides her with a tremendous sense of relief as she focuses on her health.
Moving forward, Patricia can use resources such as a poverty hardship reduction from her local unit of government, deferment of property taxes, and the UMHS Housing Bureau for Seniors’ free income tax program to ensure she files for and receives her Michigan homestead credit.
The Housing Bureau for Seniors is a resource for older adults in search of sustainable housing. Stable housing, especially for vulnerable older adults, is imperative to physical health and mental well-being. Studies show that lack of stable housing contributes to increased ED visits and prolonged hospital stays. Staff social workers conduct assessments, provide appropriate information and offer decision-making tools to help find and maintain stable, affordable living arrangements. Through the HomeShare, Foreclosure Prevention, and Housing Counseling/Eviction Prevention programs, HBS provides resources and helps find community support systems for those planning or making housing transitions and/or those handling housing-related crises.
SOS is preventing evictions
The program to prevent evictions for Ann Arbor Housing Commission section 8/Housing Choice Voucher tenants is off to a strong start. As of Sept. 6, since the middle of July, SOS's Eviction Prevention Coordinator received 14 referrals. So far, five of them have been fully resolved with a positive outcome.
The Eviction Prevention Coordinator continues to assist the other families and accept new referrals. He recently helped one single mother with three young children. This mother almost lost her Housing Choice Voucher when her family was suddenly forced to move. She was having a hard time finding another landlord who would lease to her because she is unemployed and has poor credit. SOS's Eviction Prevention coordinator advocated with a landlord and got the family approved for a townhouse. He also was able to convince the landlord to waive the holding fee and lower the security deposit. The family is now in their new home and their voucher was saved!