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HSH Participants Battle Poverty - and Stigma

Dear HSH Community,

Over the past five months, we’ve diligently worked on negotiating long-term rentals across the region priced at $2200 or below per month.

Our approach involves offering landlords the assurance that Home Suite Hope will act as the lease guarantor, ensuring full monthly payments. This arrangement eliminates the risk of payment default for the building owner, as we pay the landlord directly and take responsibility for rent collection from the tenants.

Our participants are held to a high standard through a participation agreement, requiring compliance with program requirements to maintain their housing. These requirements include passing a thorough four-step application and interview process, abstaining from active addictions, lacking any serious mental health conditions, having no ongoing court cases, and must not have a criminal conviction before or during programming. Additionally, participants are limited to a maximum of three children under 18.

These single mothers are committed to improving their financial situations and actively seek out programs like ours.

Despite offering what should be an ideal rental scenario for landlords with lower-priced units, we’ve encountered persistent stigma. Unfounded assumptions about the demographics of our program participants have led to repeated denials from landlords who seek “different types of clients.”

We urgently seek assistance from anyone connected with apartment owners, whether in large buildings or with in-law suites, to advocate for our participants. Together, we can challenge and dismantle this damaging stigma, opening up opportunities for those striving to better their lives.

Sara Cumming, Executive Director, Home Suite Hope



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