Investments Move Domestic Violence Survivors Home

By United Way of King County, on October 31, 2017 | In Fighting Homelessness, Success Stories

Imagine for a second that you’ve landed somewhere completely foreign. You know no one. All you have is your brand new identity.

This is what happened to Riley.

Police relocated Riley to the Pacific Northwest after life-threatening domestic situation across the country. She had to change her identity with zero notice, landing here with no documentation and nothing to her name.

Yet despite all that, Riley landed a job and an apartment. That’s how incredibly determined and resourceful she is.

United Way recently invested more than $200k to support domestic violence survivors through the Streets to Home program. This program’s flexibility is key to ensuring success for moving survivors off the streets and into a home. It’s had numerous success stories – no two are alike – which is the strength of the program.

Unfortunately, Riley lost her job because she wasn’t able to produce the proper identification documentation within the timeframe her employer wanted. Without employment, she couldn’t pay her rent. An eviction sent her straight to the streets. And that’s where she’s been for the last year.

Riley found United Way partner Lifewire, which connected her to a partner organization for additional advocacy support. Together, the two organizations split the cost of debt from Riley’s first eviction. Thanks to United Way’s Streets to Home funds Lifewire was about to pay off the debt.

The average cost of moving someone off the streets through the Streets to Home program is $770.

Meanwhile, Riley secured a new job! Now all she needed was a new apartment. With her debt paid off, she quickly found a place to call home. With the help of Lifewire and another partner organization, her security deposit and first month’s rent were fully covered.

Riley is in her new apartment now, holding down a steady job and regularly going to therapy to work her through the trauma of the last few years. On top of that, she’s working to reunite with her child, who is currently out of state.

A year ago, Riley was in a hopeless situation with seemingly no way out. With the collaboration of nonprofit partners, and funds from United Way, Riley is now stable, happy and working to reunite her family.

Do you want to help Riley and others like her? Make a gift to United Way to support the individualized approach of our Streets to Home program, finding real, permanent solutions for survivors.


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