Samantha's family seemed picture perfect; her and her partner had two beautiful young children, and another on the way. But looking beyond the surface, Samantha had been experiencing abuse at the hands of her husband for years.
Refusing to continue raising her young family in an abusive home, Samantha gathered the courage to flee and start anew.
Samantha made a plan to stay with her father and her stepmother, trying to save the funds she needed to rent a place of her own.
But with the COVID-19 pandemic starting to reach its peak and limited space in her dad's home for her and her children, Samantha made the difficult decision to leave with her family. For a brief time, she and her children lived in her car, but she knew that they couldn't continue living that way, especially while expecting.
Afraid and unsure of where to turn, Samantha contacted the Coordinated Entry helpline seeking a place to stay and a way to overcome her homelessness.
From there, she was able to temporarily move with her children into a hotel room. It wasn't much, but her and her two children were finally able to take small sigh of relief knowing that they were in a safe space to call their own.
During her stay, Samantha was connected with Crossroads staff who helped her apply for and attain $1200 of rental assistance so she could look for an apartment for her and her family.
Eager to find housing, Samantha began looking for an apartment right away, but was quickly disheartened when she couldn't find an affordable place for her and her family to go. Despite having rental assistance readily available to her, the Rhode Island rental market was still just out of reach for her family.
Thankfully, with ongoing assistance and encouragement from Crossroads staff, Samantha finally found a place that her and her children could call home. After almost two months of daily scans of available rentals in the state, Samantha was able to sign a lease for her new apartment, and move her family from homelessness to home.
Samantha's family isn't alone in the struggles they faced to overcome their homelessness. Every day, hundreds of thousands of domestic violence survivors struggle with the decision to leave their abusers, often because they have nowhere they can safely and affordably flee. And now more than ever, we are seeing how unattainable housing is for Rhode Islanders, even with financial assistance.
Rest assured we continue to work hard to help these families overcome their homelessness and find safe, affordable homes to call their own. But we know in the long-term, we must come up with new solutions to address the critical shortage of housing in Rhode Island that families like Samantha's can afford.