Amber was 20 years old, employed, enrolled in community college, and homeless when she engaged in Young Adult Services. She had recently graduated from SLM’s Learn & Earn program, and was building her relationship with her new mentor, Alia. Amber had diligently followed up on all potential housing opportunities, added her name to every housing waiting list, and was saving any money she could.
Finally, it seemed her journey through homelessness was at an end, as she had been awarded a rental voucher through her school. As she began to hunt for her first apartment, however, she learned that although the voucher would help her afford Boston rent, she would not be able to move in because she could not afford to pay the required security deposit and last month’s rent. She was also nervous about the process, and not sure what she should be looking for, and what questions to ask of a realtor or landlord.
Through her engagement in YAS, SLM was able to grant Amber the move in funds she needed. Amber’s YAS coordinator helped her with understanding the lease, making a plan for paying her portion of the rent on time each month, creating a monthly budget, and identifying her support system, including her SLM mentor.
Amber is now successfully living in her own apartment and taking pride in paying her monthly bills. She has reflected that the stability of her apartment, compared to living in shelters, has improved her mental health, and allowed her to take next steps in her career. Amber’s YAS coordinator continues to check in with her from time to time, to provide the flexible supports she needs to successfully live independently.