Housing voucher program for those who do not qualify for other local services
Living Room is a privately funded housing voucher program for people who are not qualified for anything else. From families that needed deposit assistance, to people looking for dignity at the end of their life, this program is designed to meet unique and unmet needs. In its first few years, $76,000 were spent on hotel vouchers with extra care taken in the Winter months to identify those in the most danger.
The first way that you can support this program is by donating survival items. Sharing sleeping bags and socks is how we meet immediate needs and build relationships to encourage people to seek additional resources.
The second way you can be involved is by becoming a housing support volunteer. After some training, you will be paired with two other people to support one person who is using a Living Room housing voucher. We have learned that it takes three people about three months to help someone improve their living situation and achieve greater life stability. This support can be all on group text messages or include helping with transportation depending on your ability to communicate challenges, support goals, and mentor.
The third way that you can increase this program is by hosting a person or family. Motels are often full and are not the best option for someone working to change their life. Churches, connected apartment units, and other appropriate sleeping quarters end the tyranny of the moment – empowering people and families to work on long-term plans. Our family housing has a long waiting list and we anticipate the women’s waiting list to grow as the winter months bring freezing temperatures. Families and women who need the least amount of case management can bypass the shelter entirely as we grow our faith-based and community-group hosting sites. Hosts may contact the RISE team and County case managers for support and to ensure the match is beneficial.
The fourth way that you can equip this program is by donating funds. We do what we can to keep costs low but housing is the most impactful way that we can change the course of someone’s life. This support gives hope that motivates people to achieve their goals.
Team of Four
The Living Room Project operates on a philosophy that with the right support, and a stable environment, people can succeed in manifesting their own sustainable living situation that works for them. The Living Room works best with a team of four:
- Guest (could be an individual, a couple, or a family)
- Support person for in-person visits and assistance
- Support person for researching options and resources
- Support person for texting and phone calls
These roles depend on each team’s strengths, scope, and capacity. A larger team means that more time can be dedicated to the individual; it also includes the Living Room guest as a valuable and important part of the team. Currently, there is one paid position for Living Room staff. The rest of the support team consists of interns who work with RISE fifteen hours per week and community volunteers.