Nicole and Rick are an elderly couple who approached me in hopes of finding a way out of the shelter. They had spent several years in homelessness. I was puzzled as to why these two people who appeared to have some of the most dedication and willingness to follow through with housing opportunities, were still in the shelter.
As I met with them more often, I discovered that they had been denied senior housing several times, and were never given a clear reason. We finally decided to contact the reporting agency who had successfully caused their denial time and time again to find out – to our surprise – that they had Rick listed as a sex offender. Rick was not a sex offender and never had been, so we spent some time contacting the police in the state where he was registered only to find out that an officer had “erroneously” marked him as one. I asked that they remove this immediately and contact the reporting agencies to clear Rick’s name. Within a week after they cleared his name, Rick and Nicole were contacted by a housing agency and were accepted into a senior housing complex that was income-based.
Through designated housing funds, The Road Home was immediately able to pay all move in fees, and the first two month’s rent. Even more exciting for the couple – the landlord at his apartment complex happened to be the niece of Rick’s favorite NFL quarterback. I can’t recall many events in my life where I had the opportunity to witness the kind of happiness that I witnessed the day they moved in.
*The names of the individuals in the story have been changed to protect their privacy.