Last week, M finally got the keys to her first home after being released from prison. Benevolence Farm was honored to support her by paying her security deposit with our Housing First Fund.
M originally contacted Benevolence Farm through our Bonding Families program. She told staff member Mona Evans that she spent $620 on application fees and finally found a place that was willing to rent to her with her criminal record.
Mona worked alongside M by paying her security deposit and navigating her Duke Energy service restoration after learning that someone had fraudulently used M’s account while she was in prison. M finds technology difficult to navigate and asked for support with the online portal.
After many hours on the phone with Duke Energy and Mona, M finally got her keys on Friday. 🔑
We all thrive in safe and secure housing. For people leaving incarceration, the challenge is often getting into that housing in the first place. Benevolence Farm is proud to pilot our Housing First Fund, made possible by Coastal Federal Credit Union Foundation. We hope its success shows the need for government and non-profit organizations across the state to financially support formerly incarcerated people as they search for their new homes.
About The Housing First Fund
The Benevolence Farm Housing First Fund is a new program that works alongside formerly incarcerated women to find housing. The program pays for the security deposit, which alleviates at least one of the many pains of finding a home.
When women leave prison, they face many challenges in finding a place to live. Landlords often require them to have two or three months of pay stubs and to earn three or four times the amount of rent. They may also have to pay a security deposit that is two or three times the amount of rent. This can be very difficult for women who are just starting out after prison and may not have a job or a lot of money.
The Benevolence Farm Housing First Fund helps women overcome these barriers by paying for the security deposit. This allows them to move into a safe and stable home of their choice quickly.
In the past, when Benevolence Farm helped women financially with housing, they have stayed in that housing for two years or more. This Fund is a pilot program, made possible by the Coastal Federal Credit Union Foundation. It is hoped that our success will demonstrate the need for more government and non-profit funding to get more people into housing after jail and prison.
[Pictured below: M’s new apartment keys resting on a windowsill with her sneakers showing on the bottom of the photo.]