Darlene[1] and her two children had been homeless, living in a shelter, for months before she came to an AREC housing service provider partner for Rapid Rehousing assistance. Relocating to Atlanta with the promise of a job, Darlene put her furniture in storage and moved in with her sister in Smyrna. A temporary stay turned into two months while Darlene waited for her job to begin, only to find out there was no longer a position for her. The stress of being unemployed and doubled-up finally led to Darlene and her children being asked to find another place to stay. Lacking a local support system, she turned to a shelter that referred her to our nonprofit partner.

Fortunately, at the time of her referral from the shelter, Darlene was employed with a monthly income of $1799. However, her experience with unemployment and homelessness had exhausted all of her savings leaving her unable to pay the move-in fees for a new apartment. Using Rapid Rehousing funding, our housing partner paid the utility deposit and first-month’s rent that allowed Darlene and her children to move from homelessness to an affordable, comfortable three-bedroom house. The assistance from the Rapid Rehousing program enabled Darlene to use her own money to get her furniture out of storage and into their house where she is making a home for her family.


[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Chronic health conditions caused 28-year old Maggie[1] and her 8-year old daughter to lose their housing and move between homelessness and “doubling-up” with members of her family for two years. Diagnosed with diabetes as a child, Maggie lost her sight in both eyes, and she and her daughter had to move in with her father so that he could take care of them. Maggie lived with her father for a year before she moved in with her sister for 6 months. By the time she was referred to one of our housing service provider partners for Rapid Rehousing assistance, Maggie and her daughter had moved yet again, from living with her sister to living with her great aunt. While her family was very supportive, nobody had enough space to let her live there permanently, which kept her moving.

With just $1331 in Rapid Rehousing assistance from our housing partner, covering a security deposit and utility arrears, Maggie was able to lease a two-bedroom apartment where she is now stably housed with her daughter. Maggie pays her own rent and continues to be responsible, managing her limited income with support from case managers and through connections to available resources. She has benefited from resources like the Atlanta Furniture Bank, which helped provide furniture for their new apartment, and like the donors who bought a bike, towels, bedding, dishes, coats, toys, and more to furnish Maggie’s home and give her daughter a “sense of pride and excitement”.

Maggie still struggles with her health issues, but now that she and her daughter have been accommodated through Rapid Rehousing she is more hopeful and expects her life to get better.

[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Diana[1] is a pregnant single mother with two children who are 9 years and 1 year old.  She was in desperate need of housing assistance after two years of housing instability and homelessness.

Two years before making her call to one of our housing service provider partners, Diana was employed in the Army Reserve; when her unit was disbanded she no longer had income to support her family.   They soon found themselves moving from hotel to hotel and then couch to couch.  Diana got another job working at night and relying on friends or family to care for her children.  During the day, Diana slept in her car so as not to be a burden to the people already caring for her children.

Homeless and pregnant, our housing partner was able to engage state emergency solutions funding for Diana to cover her housing expenses while she was on maternity leave.  Diana then returned to work where her income is about $1300 monthly or $15,600 annually.  It is worth noting that HUD considers annual income of $20,800 (30% below area median income) to be “extremely low income” for a family of four; Diana’s income is 25% less than this lowest HUD income category.

Diana’s struggle to stabilize her housing and financial situation continues and so does her support and case management.  As her wages were recently garnished, it became clear to her case manager that she would not be able to remain housed without additional assistance.  Working with AREC property managers and helping her with financial planning, our housing partner has been able to find a two-bedroom apartment for Diana, and also prevent a return to homelessness for Diana and her family.

[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Jada[1] contacted PCCI as a referral from a DeKalb County Schools homelessness social worker. Jada is a single mother with three children who are 10, 8, and 5 years old.  Jada’s homelessness began as a result of an untenable situation between Jada and her husband, which culminated in Jada being arrested as the aggressor.

After being incarcerated for a few days while her children lived with her sister, Jada was released from jail and found she was not allowed to return to her home.  She and her three children took shelter with a family friend; however, that family then lost their home to foreclosure, which again left Jada and her children without a place to stay.  Jada and her children have been residing in a one-bedroom apartment, with care of her family alternately split between her sister and a babysitter.

Fortunately, even though Jada has exhausted all other housing options and lacks the savings to secure her own place without assistance, she has $1200 monthly income from employment.  With this, plus $1340 in one-time, rapid re-housing assistance from PCCI for deposits and first-month’s rent, PCCI worked in close collaboration with one of the AREC property managers to move Jada and her three children into a new home in April 2014.

[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Paul[1] is a single male who had been living at the Salvation Army shelter since Thanksgiving of 2012 after two short-term, in-patient treatment programs for mental health and substance abuse.

Prior to becoming homeless, Paul lived with his wife and child and served his country, receiving an honorable discharge for his service.  However, challenges arising from a degenerative physical condition left Paul unable to work, and complications resulting from clinical depression, anxiety, and PTSD led to the end of his marriage.  Paul moved in with his mother in Georgia; after struggling for two years with mental health issues and addiction, he became homeless.

Since then, Paul has been receiving treatment from the VA Medical Center, is attending weekly group support sessions, and is taking his medication.  He has been sober for almost a year and attends at least four AA or NA meetings each week.

As a veteran, Paul is fortunate to be eligible for a VASH housing voucher and has been approved for a two-bedroom apartment in one of the AREC properties.  An AREC nonprofit partner worked closely with Paul to locate stable housing and helped him develop a budget that will allow him sustain his tenancy.

[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Leslie[1] is a 46-year-old single woman referred to rapid re-housing by her case worker at My Sister’s House (Atlanta Union Mission).

Leslie’s experience with homelessness began two years ago when her job assignment through a staffing agency ended.  While Leslie qualified to receive unemployment, it was not enough to pay all of her bills and she soon found herself evicted from her apartment.  Following her eviction, Leslie moved back to her hometown in southeast Georgia for some time then returned to Atlanta last summer.  After living with a friend for three months, she moved to My Sister’s House emergency shelter.

With no history of substance abuse, mental or physical health issues, Leslie’s only barrier to housing was one eviction on her credit record.

While Leslie does not have enough income to cover her move-in expenses and monthly rent, an agency specializing in housing services partnered with AREC to provide funds, along with additional assistance from the Atlanta Housing Authority, to obtain stable housing for her in a subsidized two-bedroom unit at an AREC property. Leslie is currently working part-time earning $520/month while searching for a full-time position.  She has been referred to First Step Staffing to support her efforts.

[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

Susan[1] is  is a 23-year-old single mother, originally from Texas. She served in the U.S. Army from 2008 until 2010, receiving a general discharge under honorable conditions. Since arriving in Atlanta in 2011, Susan has not had stable housing, and has resided at the Gateway (a homeless service center) and Mary Hall Freedom House (transitional housing).

She was referred to an AREC nonprofit partner by a HUD/VASH case manager with the Veterans Administration. At the time of her assessment at the VA, Susan had no place to call home. She receives some disability income connected to her military service, and works parttime. However, due to her limited monthly income and no support system in place, Susan needed assistance in order to move into permanent housing. It was obvious that without Project Community Connections, she would remain homeless.

Susan was approved for a VASH housing voucher through the City of Decatur Housing Authority. Through the partnership between the nonprofit partner and the Atlanta Real Estate Collaborative (AREC), she was successfully placed in a two-bedroom unit at the Lakes at Indian Creek Apartments, a property managed by Lincoln Properties (also an AREC partner). The housing agency assisted Susan to locate this unit and provided short‐term financial assistance to help with connecting utilities and paying rent deposits. Susan has never had an apartment of her own before, and is now happily looking forward to making a home with her 4-year-old daughter.

[1] Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.