HEATHER & JOE
Some of the first people affected by COVID-19 worked in the service industry—people like Heather, a waitress, and Joe, a furniture mover. They were earning enough to get by and paying a friend to stay at his place. “Our buddy kicked us out when we both lost our jobs,” said Heather, “and we ended up sleeping in cemeteries and churches in Broadview and Maywood.” Their world turned upside down overnight. “We couldn’t even buy coffees and sit in a fast-food place to keep out of the rain.” After connecting with Housing Forward, the couple was offered motel room as part of our temporary accommodations due to the pandemic.
When the Interim Housing Program opened in September, Heather and Joe were among the first to be accepted into the program. With encouragement of their case manager, the couple began to work on their goals for permanent housing. Eventually they were ready for their own studio apartment in Cicero, with the support of our Rapid Re-Housing Program.
“It may look like baby steps but things for us are so much better now,” shares Heather. “We’ve started feeling more like the adults we actually are.” According to Heather and Joe, working with Housing Forward has helped them in more ways than they could ever fully express. It wasn’t always easy, but they appreciated that their case manager helped them to get their priorities aligned. “Our lives are so different now. We just feel so much more normal.”
Our lives are so different now. We just feel so much more normal.