Jerry and Carolyn got a rare gift one year ago when they signed a lease with Catanzaro Apartments. At the time they were staying temporarily at Tabor’s Transitional Living Center (TLC) where staff had provided rigorous budget counseling and financial literacy education. They used these skills and information to manage their finances more effectively, pay off some debt, and save for housing.
It wasn’t easy and it required much discipline but they persevered and were successful in improving their finances. By participating in Tabor’s Rapid Re-housing program, they received assistance in finding an apartment and in overcoming an eviction and some credit issues.
Jerry and Carolyn met with their Tabor case manager for an assessment to determine their housing needs and their personal strengths. During this process, the case manager learned the story behind the loss of their previous housing and the debt that still existed with the landlord. The root causes of the accumulation of the debt had been identified and addressed and were being cared for in an ongoing manner, so paying back the landlord was the next essential task. A call was made and it soon became obvious that a new chapter was about to unfold for their family with their previous landlord.
A plan was developed to fulfill their financial obligation to repay the debt. Because the landlord thought so highly of them and their recent accomplishments, she was willing to forgive a small portion of the total debt. The case manager told the landlord about the changes they had made and the determination they had displayed in getting back on their feet.
Then a surprising thing happened. The landlord said she would be willing to rent to them again. And amazingly, their previous apartment was becoming available within a month and she would consider them for tenancy since they paid back their debt and were receiving ongoing budget counseling and supportive services through Tabor.
Jerry and Carolyn signed a new lease which placed them back in the very same apartment in which they lived prior to their housing crisis. They were offered a second chance by a gracious and understanding landlord because they had done the work to make tough changes and overcome obstacles in their lives.
They were gifted with a new beginning. Jerry and Carolyn are now celebrating one year in their home and are anticipating many more.