Outcomes and Success Stories

Outcomes

In 2015, we served 129 families, consisting of 160 adults and 176 children. Our housing program and support services staff provided over 5,000 hours of support annually to enhance our families’ ability to be successful. Within the transitional housing programs:

  • 93% of families (120/129) established and maintained a positive rental history;
  • 19 families secured permanent, affordable housing in the community;
  • 51% of families (39/79) with the potential to increased their income (i.e. not all families have the potential for increased income due to fixed financial benefits, such as SSDI and SSI).

Additionally, here are some detailed successes from our transitional housing program (our most intensively supported service program):

  •  29 families (consisting of 95 individuals) served in transitional housing
  • Staff provided over 3,500 hours of case management, life skills training, and housing/maintenance support
  • 93% of families (27/29) maintained a quality home environment and successfully passed monthly home inspections;
  • 90% of families (26/29)developed a positive rental history by paying consistently paying rent on time;
  • 86% of families regularly kept their scheduled appointments with support staff;
  • 95% of families with children (20/21) maintained and/or increased their education attendance (e.g. no truancy or behaviors that resulted in school suspension);
  • 56% of families (10/18) who were unemployed at the time of program entry gained employment;
  • 62% of families who had debt (16/26) were able to reduce it; 

Success Stories

The donation of time, talent, and finances to the Housing Partnership directly impacts the quality of life for the individuals and families we serve. The individuals below have given us permission to share their personal journey with you as a way to communicating our appreciation for your support. Without you , they would not be where they are today.

Tina’s Story - Transitional housing program.

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“Tina” entered the Housing Partnership’s transitional housing program in 2013 as a single mother of 2, fleeing domestic violence. When asked to describe what would have happened to her and her children if the Housing Partnership had not been able to provide them with a transitional home, she succinctly stated, "It would have ruined us. We would have had nowhere to go. Danger. Death. That would have been our future."

Fifteen months ago, Tina and her children eagerly moved into the transitional housing program after spending three months at a domestic violence shelter. Since that time, Tina has successfully paid off her debt, completed a CNA program, increased her family's income, and ensured that her children are thriving at school and home.

Lisa’s Story - Permanent supportive housing program

“Lisa” had big goals for her life. After spending time in Holland as a study abroad student, she dreamed of returning and dedicating her life to teaching. However, the sudden death of her younger brother and significant health complications forced her to remain stateside in Wisconsin. She earned her Master of Social Work with a focus in Development Disabilities and planned on earning her Doctorate when her physical health continued to decline and she began experiencing severe mental illness. She survived a traumatic sexual assault with the support of the Harbor House Program and eventually she knew it was time to live in the community again. However her experiences had left her scared and she needed to live somewhere she felt safe. Lisa was ultimately connected with the Housing Partnership’s permanent supportive housing program

Now, two years later, Lisa beams with gratitude as she shares her story, noting that the Housing Partnership’s focus on creating a dignified home environment where she could get back on her feet meant the world to her recovery. “I really appreciate living here,” she says. “If staff see a need, they meet it and then some.” Lisa shared how staff have gone out of their way to ensure she felt at home: from providing end-of-the-month health supplies when her budget got tight to finding tickets for Lisa to take her kids to LifeFest over the summer, the Housing Partnership “creates a wonderful place to live with dignity.” When asked if there is anything Lisa wanted to share with our individual and community supporters, Lisa said, “Please just tell them that this program is so important for helping people get back on their feet. They are a part of that. They are so important and I’m so thankful.”

Under One Roof's Story- Independent Living program

For individuals with physical and/or developmental disabilities, finding independent housing is challenging, if not impossible. However, for the individuals living in the Under One Roof house, a sub-program within the independent living program ,the dream of community integration has become a reality. Under One Roof is a collaborative project that provide quality, affordable housing (via the Housing Partnership) and supportive services (via COTS, Inc.) For these individuals, collective living within one home fosters a familial environment and natural support system that ensures stability, physical and mental well-being, and financial self-sufficiency. 

Without this program, these individuals would not be experiencing the success and pleasure of living in a  home that they can call their own. They take great pride in taking care of the house and each other. They make a point to give back to the community and the services that have helped them achieve success. They routinely express their gratitude to those who continue to support them. 

Susan's Story- Affordable housing program

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Susan had a happy, stable life: she and her husband had a good marriage and enjoyed a beautiful home; her daughter had just completed her first year at UW Madison and was preparing to study abroad.  Daily conversations focused on the mundane: chores, vacation plans, retirement, preparing for dinner. That is, until everything changed in an instant.

With little warning, Susan's husband had a heart attack and passed away. Insurance covered funeral and medical bills, but left little for the mortgage and monthly bills. Susan continued to work her full-time, $11 per hour job while handling the emotional aftermath of losing her life partner and sending her daughter off to Europe. After a year in the poor housing market, Susan's home was foreclosed upon. Within a year, Susan went from a happy and stable home to being homeless and alone. "What a difference a year and no support makes," she told us.

Moving in with a family member, Susan continued to work a full-time job outside the house and took on the added tasks of providing basic housekeeping and home maintenance to "earn her keep." It didn't take long for Susan to learn that her family member struggled with an intense addiction that resulted in daily intoxication and black outs, unpredictable mood swings, and ultimately created a culture of fear and stress. Susan recalls, "I would lock myself in my room at night, never quite sure if I would wake up to find [the family member] standing over me with a knife" due to substance-induced rage and paranoia.

For four years, Susan walked on eggshells, sticking to her daily routine in order to scrape by and avoiding making this house too much her home for fear of disrupting her family member's day. Some nights, the stress was so thick that she would "take my sleeping bag and go sleep in my car in a parking lot, just to feel safe." Susan became focused on finding a new place to stay, even being willing to stay in a shelter in order to avoid sleeping on the streets, her car, or asking another family member to take her in. In an appointment with FISC, while she was receiving financial assistance, a FISC employee referred her to the Housing Partnership of the Fox Cities.

"I had never heard of you before; I guess because I had never needed you until then. I spoke with [staff member] and received such compassion, I just knew--things were going to change. And I started to hope again." Within hours of completing her application, Susan connected with a Housing Partnership staff member identify options for assistance. Within weeks, Susan moved into her own apartment in Neenah.

"I had never lived on my own before, ever. And I think I cried for three days. I was just so happy." Susan describes her home now as "my new beginning, an independence I wasn't sure I would ever have again." When asked what she has learned through this journey, she confidently looked up, with tears in her eyes, and said, "That I'm blessed. Change is constant. I never planned on being single again. I never planned on having to go through my daughter's graduation alone. I never thought I'd be homeless. But [the Housing Partnership] has shown me such support--helping me get back in my own place, allowing me to use a payment plan until I could get my finances adjusted again. Housing is so expensive, but I have received such accommodating and helpful compassion."

Susan has been living in a Housing Partnership home for almost a year now. "What a difference a year and support makes," she repeated. What a difference indeed.

 

Bill's story - It Takes a Village program

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To anyone on the outside, Bill had a "perfect" life. With multiple college degrees, he was working in a well-paying job within the healthcare industry. He was married with two young boys. He even willingly relocated to Wisconsin to support his wife with her professional pursuits. However, life was far from perfect as Bill struggled with significant mental health issues that were causing him severe distress, his marriage was unhealthy, and the threat of divorce meant he could lose contact with his boys. Eventually, he lost his job and moved in with his parents as an interim measure. They weren't fully aware of the multi-faceted nature that mental health issues can wreak havoc on an individual's ability to "pull yourself up by the bootstraps" and they eventually dropped him off at the Warming Shelter.

For the first time in his life, Bill realized he didn't have to "be" anyone for anyone other than himself.  Sleeping under the bridge in Appleton actually helped him face everything going on in his life and slowly, through the relationships he made on the streets and at shelter, he got connected with the “It Takes a Village” program. He moved into his apartment and started working with the program's case managers to access community resources to increase his stability and self-sufficiency.

Now out of the program and back on his feet on his terms, Bill shares, "Being part of ITAV made it possible for me to transition from unemployment and homelessness to reentering the workforce and living independently. Regular meetings with my compassionate case manager helped me stay organized and moving forward. The program also connected me with a community of other people experiencing similar challenges. This helped me stay connected on a personal level."