14 Lives Could Change

On-going supportive services
provided for all our move-ins!
My husband, Cody, and I are hoping to one day own a home in Bellflower... but have you seen the housing prices in this area lately? They are no joke! We live in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the United States. In fact, Los Angeles County is ranked #10 as the least affordable area to rent or own a home.

But, why am I sharing this with you? Because, unfortunately, it makes our work with our neighbors in need even more complicated.

When someone is ready to get off the streets, even with a steady job (which is a whole different barrier to discuss!!), most housing is still far from their reach. That giant chasm between homelessness and a stable roof over their head is even larger because of our location in Southern California. This causes us to rely upon special affordable housing programs in order to get our neighbors permanently housed. As imperfect as they are, subsidy programs like Section 8 and Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) often become our neighbors only tool for finding safe and stable housing.

At KCB/OPHS one of the many things we do in partnership with the local church community is working with neighbors who have been homeless for a year or more in order to help them track down resources to become housed. It's no small feat! When a homeless neighbor does get a voucher, we rejoice... and then we sort of panic. We panic because sometimes it feels next to impossible to find landlords willing to accept a tenant with Section 8 or VASH. I don't know how many times we've worked for years with a neighbor to finally line up a voucher only to have it expire because no one will rent to them. Frankly, it's heart-breaking.

We are part of a new system (we call it the Match.com of housing) that is now slowly connecting some of our most vulnerable homeless neighbors, many of whom you might know from a Saturday morning breakfast, with vouchers. Right now, we have 14 homeless neighbors, including a few families, and 3 veterans, with vouchers. More vouchers will likely be coming through in the next couple of weeks. Please pray that we find landlords in the next week or two willing to rent to our 14 friends!

The supportive services provided by KCB/OPHS do not end once our homeless neighbors are housed. In fact, our staff and volunteers provide on-going case management designed to keep our neighbors housed, paying bills on-time, and ultimately giving back to their community. Basically, we won't leave the landlords hanging!

If you know of any open apartments or have any connections to property managers willing to accept Section 8, please contact Becky, Kim, or Julie at 562-804-2189.