Formerly Landlord Liaison Partnership

Sophy’s Story

Sophy’s Story

By Partners in Housing Solutions on Jan 26, 2023 in Success Stories
Sophy’s Story

Last year, Sophy had plans lined up to move out of Santa Barbara County and start a new career. She gave her landlord notice and resigned from her job of many years. The week she was scheduled to move, her world stopped in an instant when she learned that her father was diagnosed with Cancer.

She decided to stay to be by his side, but was now homeless and jobless with two young daughters. With very little resources she applied for public assistance. She shared “Having a college degree and a history of stable employment, it was a really humbling experience to ask for assistance” Sophy and her girls bounced around and there were nights when they slept in their car. Sophy recalls one cold night in her car “It was a scary situation and I started sobbing when my daughters were asleep. At that moment I promised them I would be a better mom and that I would never put them in this situation again. I prayed to God for guidance.”

When she was referred to Partners in Housing Solutions, Sophy was surviving on her credit cards; having a high debt to income ratio was one of her biggest barriers in getting approved for a rental. She felt defeated and was in full survival mode. During these times, she recalls feeling supported by her worker at PHS. “Sylvia was the one person that I felt really cared. She kept pushing and motivating me so I would not give up”

In December, on her daughter’s birthday she finally got the answer to her prayers of being approved for a rental and they were able to move in that same day. For the first time in months, they slept safely in their own beds.

Sophy is now working on becoming financially stable once again and regaining her confidence. This experience truly changed her outlook on life and her future goals. Sophy shared, “I’ve been on the other side and I want to pursue a degree in social work to help others in the same situation.” Her father has responded well to treatment and is currently in remission.

The Challenge and the Solution

The Challenge:

  • Vacancy rates at less then 1% in Santa Barbara County
  • One of the most expensive cities to live in the state
  • Minimal government housing

The Solution:

To build and maintain a network of private landlords with trust at the core of these relationships, resulting in a private sector that is accessed and activated to show compassion to the less fortunate.