When Alicia found herself unable to afford the high cost of housing in Orange County, she resorted to living in her car with her son for a year.
Each day, she sent him off to fourth grade, after brushing their teeth with water bottles and bathing with baby wipes.
But she couldn’t go on forever this way and worried that her son’s education would be affected.
Alicia received support from one of Orange County United Way’s Rapid Re-Housing partners.
Rapid Re-Housing is a model that works well in placing families experiencing homelessness into permanent housing. It’s designed to support families getting back on their feet, so they can take care of themselves and their families.
By connecting people with a home, they are in a better position to address other challenges that may have led to or resulted during their homelessness, such as obtaining financially sustainable employment.
With a roof over their heads, beds and showers, Alicia says they got their dignity back. Now she has a full-time job and says, “I am living with humility and gratitude, and the strength of knowing we will never be homeless again.”