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Sharon and Wayne Hayes became homeless in August of 2018 when Sharon’s mother passed away and they were displaced from an apartment they had shared with her. The couple’s only income was from disability assistance, and they could not find a place to live that they could afford. For the past 9 months, they either slept in their car or, on extremely cold nights, stayed in a motel. Toward the end of winter, with the end of the state program that provides emergency housing assistance during cold weather, they were forced to give up their car so that they could pay to stay in a motel.

Now, the Hayes’ extended stretch of homelessness has finally ended, and they’re celebrating their recent move into an affordable 2-bedroom apartment. The security deposit assistance SEVCA provided was essential for them to be able to get the apartment.

“I was homeless for 9 months, basically living on the streets,” Sharon said. “When I found this apartment, my prayers were answered! I finally have my own place and I don’t have to worry about where to sleep at night! Every day, I wake up and wonder, ‘Are we really in our own apartment? Is this really our home?’

According to SEVCA Family Services Worker, Shannon Trinske, the couple had applied for housing but were repeatedly turned down. “Throughout all of this they somehow remained optimistic,” she said. “They were forced to make tough choices, like giving up their car because the high payment took a huge chunk of their income. But they persevered until, finally, they got the good news that Twin Pines Housing Trust (who had originally denied their application) had decided to take a chance on them.” 

SEVCA is asking you to take a chance on the people who suffer with housing instability and homelessness. Help us end homelessness in our communities with a donation today!

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About the Organization

Southeastern Vermont Community Action (SEVCA)

Since 1965, SEVCA has worked to address the hardships of poverty and create opportunities for sustainable self-sufficiency in WIndham and Windsor Counties. Our comprehensive array of services include crisis fuel assistance, homelessness prevention and rehousing assistance, weatherization, emergency home repair, early childhood education, job readiness training, financial fitness education, matched savings accounts, micro business counseling and support, and free tax assistance.