When one tragedy begets another

Homelessness can strike suddenly

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Homelessness doesn’t always come with warning signs. One day, Thomas and his family were secure in their apartment, and the next, they were homeless. Thomas and his family, including his wife, 18-year-old son, and two-month-old daughter, had a stable life and secure housing—but that all changed overnight when an apartment fire destroyed their home and all of their possessions.

While Thomas was grateful for the safety of his family, he was also devastated by the family’s sudden loss. Still, he was determined to put on a brave face and tackle the most pressing challenge at hand: finding a new place for the family to live. But securing an apartment was more difficult than Thomas initially thought. Because of prior issues with his credit, he couldn’t get approved for a new rental unit.

Thomas contacted United Way for assistance with finding new housing. Despite his poor credit history, Thomas’ housing advocate was able to secure a rental unit through a contact at a property management company. In less than 30 days, Thomas and his family were able to move into a new, affordable apartment.

Thanks to United Way and its partners, Thomas’ family also received move-in assistance and furnishings for the home, which made the family’s transition even smoother. After going through such a troubling situation, Thomas is thankful for United Way programs and donors that made his fresh start possible.

“I had so much anxiety, I could not work,” he said. “Now, my family has a home. I can’t thank you all enough.”

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