The Relatives’ Family Update
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Forgotten. That describes how so many of the young people feel when they come through our doors at The Relatives.
In recent months, we have seen our country’s administration step up and address potential home loss, halting the eviction of certain renters though the end of 2020. A recent report from the Aspen Institute stated that more than 20 million renters live in households that have suffered COVID-19-related job loss and concluded that millions more are at risk of eviction in the next several months. As one of our staff members recently said, “Your rent or bills don’t stop increasing because you don’t have a job.”
While this order will provide relief for millions of anxious families, the action delays rather than prevents evictions. It is not rent relief. Our case managers are preparing our young adults for what happens when this order is lifted and several months of back-rent is owed, often equaling thousands of dollars.
Most adults who experience homelessness were first homeless before the age of 25. Prevention and early intervention are key. If we can stop the cycle before that point, our young adults can avoid chronic adult homelessness. Stable housing now provides real opportunities for young people to reach their fullest potential.
Your vital support of The Relatives makes you part of our family to about 6,000 youth and young adults each year, with or without a pandemic. Your gifts provide programming to help prevent and end youth homelessness. Our youth are no longer forgotten because you stepped up to Be A Relative.
Providing Shelter in the Storm
We know that a safe, stable place to call home is paramount to reaching independence. It’s the reason why we created our scattered site housing program – the first housing program in Charlotte targeted specifically to the hidden population of homeless young adults. This program has moved more than 100 homeless young adults into housing since 2016.
Through funding from several private foundations, in addition to state funds, we provide young people, ages 18-24, who are homeless, at-risk of homelessness, aging out of foster care, or fleeing domestic violence with supported housing in the community. We provide a gradually reducing housing subsidy, tailored to each young adult’s needs, as well as intensive case management to support our young adults in maintaining stable housing. We are continuing this important work and have already moved 20 young adults and 8 of their children into housing since the beginning of the year.
But even with a program in place to address housing needs, emergencies still arise. This year has proven that it takes extra support and grace to respond to crisis. We have been fortunate to receive additional funding through the United Way of Central Carolina’s COVID-19 Relief Fund and The Joey Logano Foundation, totaling nearly $30,000. Through the generosity of this funding, we have been able to help out with groceries, utilities, rent, extended housing subsidies, hotel vouchers, and other emergency funds for young adults in our housing program, at our On Ramp resource center, and families of children at our emergency shelter for youth.
It takes $10,000 to move a young adult out of homelessness and into a home, creating stability in their life. Your generosity changes the trajectory of our young adults lives.
The Show Must Go On
With so many uncertainties in the nation right now, it’s only natural that our young adults are faced with anxiety. This collective crisis has put their mental health into overdrive and we are making it a priority to provide them with essential coping mechanisms to get through the days ahead.
Our staff and volunteers have come up with creative solutions to keep our kids positive and they recently hosted a full day of activities to create a space of mental respite. Our On Ramp Program Supervisor dressed as Steve Harvey to host a Family Feud event, dedicated volunteer Shelley McLean provided lunch for the afternoon, and QuikTrip donated speakers and blankets for door prizes.
It was so refreshing to see our young adults take a small break from their worries and bring some joy into what has been a tumultuous year.
You Can Give Immediate Relief
As our young adults face hard times and prepare for upcoming evictions related to COVID-19,
we work hard to provide resources to help them get on their feet by finding stable employment and opportunities for long-term housing. However, the immediate need for shelter causes many of our young adults to resort to staying in tents in the interim.
Shop our Amazon Needs List for these and other critical items, such as flashlights and water, today.