How a $200,000+ setback is impacting QC homelessness

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A $200,000+ setback for one local housing agency. 

A spokesperson for Humility of Mary Homes and Services says the organization was denied additional funding this year from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Money it would have used to place people into affordable housing. 

Research indicates that the number of units for rent less than $500 a month has decreased by more than 40% since the year 2000.

More expensive units increased dramatically by more than 100% or 1,000%.

A spokesperson for Humility says less affordable housing means the longer people spend on the streets and the more difficult their situation gets. 

That was the case for Frederick Guypede for a decade.

Guypede is getting used to a new routine. 

It’s his second week working at Humility Homes and Services in their resale warehouse.

Besides the new job, the 55-year-old is also adjusting to what others might consider basic tasks. 

“Being able to cook for myself, clean for myself, being able to take a bath, shower when I want, do my own laundry,” Guypede says.

That’s because less than a year ago, he didn’t have any of it.

“I was chronically homeless for 10 years, living on the streets,” he says. 

Last summer, Gupede finally got accepted into Humility’s permanent housing program. 

“The idea is that you put people into their own apartment, regardless of what situation they’re in, and then you go in and provide supportive services from there,” says Christie Adamson, Humility Homes & Services chief operating officer.  

Adamson says she’s seen the program work.

“Not only does it work but it’s cheaper. It’s cheaper to house somebody in their own apartment than it is in a shelter. It’s certainly cheaper to have them in their own unit and not bouncing in and out of the ER and jail and those other systems,” she says. 

It’s just about keeping up with demand.

“Right now we’re operating just over 40 units of permanent supportive housing. We could easily in our community double or triple that and still see a need.”

The additional funding they applied for from HUD would have allowed them to open up 15 units to those who need them.

Although guypede is still getting used to his  new life, he’s already put certain things behind him.

“The worst feeling in this world that I’ve ever experienced in this life is feeling cold and hungry. That’s the closest thing to death that I ever came to,” he says.

For him, the program is the end to a decade-old vicious cycle.

To find out more about how you can support Humility Homes and Services’ housing program, click here. 

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