Sophy’s Story

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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.

Success Story: Chris and Drea

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They are buying their first home!

In 2015, I was met with the lowest point of my life. My children were in foster care, I was on probation, and I did not have a stable living situation or the credit to support my current issues from being resolved.

With the care of Landlord Liaison (now PHS) and New Beginnings, I was given an opportunity to plant my feet firmly on the ground and rebuild my life. My liaison created a relationship with gracious landlords that wanted to help someone like me.

I was given a chance.
For 27 months, I have been blessed to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and the case management necessary to retain my living situation. Without these programs, I would not have the ability to start the process of becoming a first-time homeowner, and for that, I am forever indebted.

Success Story: Amy and Her Boys

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Amy and Her Boys are in their New Home!

In 2017 I suffered health complications which led me and my two teenage boys into homelessness. Although I’ve worked for the same employer for the past twelve years, I was unable to meet many landlord’s rental criteria.

My boys and I had no choice but to live in our car for two years. As a result, my boys developed anxiety and my health deteriorated drastically. I felt hopeless.

In October 2019, I was referred to Partners in Housing Solutions, where I worked alongside their Housing Locator. Two months later, one of their private landlords gave me and my boys the opportunity we’d been hoping for.

They gave us a home.
Thanks to Partners in Housing Solutions, we can now focus on our health and well-being!

Hope Renewed

In the summer of 2022, a single mother with two children whom we will call “Maggie” was desperate to find housing. She had been unhoused for over a year. Aside from the stress of being unhoused, she was dealing with severe health issues and battling an aggressive form of Cancer. She was on a fixed income and unable to work, which led to countless denials for housing. Even with the support of Partners in Housing Solutions, Maggie’s situation was incredibly difficult. She often expressed being afraid of losing her battle without having found a home for her children. Without a stable place to live, Maggie was not getting the proper health care and help she needed.

Partners in Housing Solutions tapped into all the resources we could and helped her get connected to long-term financial housing support designated for people with disabilities. Soon after, we located a compassionate property owner who after meeting Maggie immediately approved her for one of their rentals.
Since becoming housed, Maggie has been able to focus on her health. She was able to secure an in-home caregiver, which was only allowable once she had a permanent home. Additionally, she was connected to basic needs assistance and other community resources designated to help her children succeed in school.
Maggie has been housed for over a year now and maintains a great relationship with the property owner. She continues fighting her health battle but has the support she needs. She now has two in-home caregivers that provide 24-hour care. Her family is able to visit her and help her take care of her children. Most importantly, when she became housed, Maggie had a renewed sense of hope.
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Resilience and Hope

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Kris and her child were homeless for over five years in Santa Barbara County. Struggling with her mental health and living on a fixed income, finding housing seemed impossible.
They were referred to Partners in Housing Solutions and at that time, Kris had a hard time communicating. Her child, now in high school was having trouble coping with the stress of being unhoused.
Kris was ready to do whatever she could to secure a home for herself and her child. With patience and care, their PHS worker built a relationship with Kris that allowed her to open up. Together they came up with a plan to help her push beyond the barriers. Soon after, she found a rental and applied. At the interview, she was asked about her lack of rental history and she shared her story with the manager. She also let them know that she was working with PHS and was receiving housing support.
The manager was moved by Kris’ story and related. She too was homeless growing up and understood the challenges they faced with limited income and no rental history. After learning more about the housing support, management approved Kris and she was able to move in within days.
Now Kris works part time and is able to provide a safe environment for her child and she could not be happier.

Two Years and Thriving

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In the fall of 2020 Angelica and her family were referred to Partners in Housing Solutions (PHS) for housing assistance. Angelica worked in agriculture for over 13 years and did freelance work on the side to support her five young children. Angelica became pregnant and experienced health issues; that only allowed her to work part-time. Unable to keep up with rent, she and her family became homeless. They moved into a local shelter in the spring of 2020 during the height of the pandemic, soon after, Angelica was infected with COVID-19 which prompted her to go into early labor. Once recovered, Angelica and her children returned to the shelter but were unable to stay long-term and became unsheltered.

PHS stood by Angelica and connected them to temporary hotel assistance while permanent housing was secured. During this process, Angelica and her children were grateful but struggled to stay positive. Her teenage daughter gracefully helped care for her younger siblings but longed for stability. Schools were on lock down so the children all shared a space during online learning and found it difficult to focus. They were visibly frustrated and tired.

In the spring of 2021, they were elated when they got accepted into a low-income housing unit. Their PHS worker helped connect them with move in assistance, furnishings, and basic needs.
After move-in, Angelica and her children were in disbelief. The children’s demeanor completely changed; they were excited and full of life.

Angelica keeps in touch and shared they are still happily housed. She is grateful to PHS, for sticking by their side through some of the toughest times.
Two years after becoming housed, Angelica and her family are thriving. She is back to work and her children are excelling in school. They have adjusted to a stable and normal life. Her teenage daughter will soon graduate high school and wants to pursue a career in social work to help others in need.