Tyler Ahtonen, Lead Case Manager for CityNet–a Nonprofit based in Orange County that uses collaboration to supply the homeless population with housing and wellness options–was assigned a special family a couple months back. At the time, the family’s story caught his attention, but little did he know the effort that would be poured out on their behalf as they struggled to find consistent housing.
Unfortunately, this is a story all too common for many families living throughout the 34 cities in Orange County. City Net and Eastside Christian Church are two of the organizations using elements of funding and brainpower towards helping these individuals and families in the surrounding communities; Jessica is a mother of one such family unit.
Living in one bedroom of a shared apartment, Jessica and her five children were getting by paying rent to a tenant who was then expected to forward the payment to their landlord, but was instead pocketing the hard-earned funds. Jessica and her offspring were then undeservedly evicted, but homeless none-the-less, and left to depend on the couches of willing friends.
Selling her jewelry and other various possessions, Jessica was able to come up with the funds to rent a motel in Anaheim and begin reaching out to housing organizations in the area. Getting into contact with Illumination Foundation, she was referred to City Net, where Tyler entered the scene and promptly began working on solutions to the family’s housing strife.
After a couple weeks, Tyler was able to begin the application process with Jessica to house her family at Rockwood, a brand new apartment complex built solely as a low-income housing project. Though they jumped at the opportunity, the requirements of the Anaheim Housing Authority were extremely in-depth and caused many setbacks that began to discourage Jessica. During this time, Tyler did what he could to stay encouraging to the family and help provide for their needs including daily phone calls and dropping off hygiene kits.
What added to the stress of the process, however, was Jessica’s inability to continue paying for motel rent. Fear of her children having to return to the streets began to take shape once again, but as Tyler learned of this worry, Eastside’s Local Compassion ministries was contacted and informed of the current predicament. Eastside stepped in and was able to fund the remaining weeks of the family’s stay while their paperwork process was completed–allowing a huge weight to be lifted off this single mom’s shoulders.
Though both Tyler and Jessica underwent multiple ups and downs during the procedure, their efforts paid off months later when Jessica and her kids were granted housing at Rockwood and were able to settle into a home all their own for the first time. The apartment is fully furnished and includes three bedrooms with a beautiful kitchen for this family to thrive and create a life of wellness thanks to the diligence and compassion of City Net’s devoted case manager and help of Eastside Christian Church.