Recovery Act Impact: Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing Program
When Cruz fell on hard times recently a homeless shelter seemed like her only option. Fortunately stimulus funding that was provided to the New England Farm Worker's Council through the Homelessness Prevention and Rapid Re-housing fund ensured that Cruz and her daughters have a place they call home.
Cruz works at Dunkin Donuts but her salary could not cover the rent of an apartment in the Holyoke area, where she lives. She and her daughters were living with her brother in law but Cruz said it was a bad environment for her and her daughters and she knew they had to find a place of their own.
New England Farm Worker's Council received $755K in stimulus funds for its homeless program and, as someone who was employed, Cruz was a perfect candidate for the program. But she needed to find a viable apartment and that, she said, proved to be very difficult. "Every day, I was on the computer, getting rejected by landlords or finding apartments that were too expensive. I was ready to give up. But I was very persistent."
Cruz is also working towards her GED and hopes to attend college. "I have a lot of goals and ambitions," she said. "I am not going to let other people do this for me but without their funding I wouldn't be a success story."