Dear Potential Supporter or Partner:
Thank you for considering joining us in our mission to assist our greater Cleveland community members who are rising out of homelessness or transitioning from tenants to homeowners. We are grateful for your time and willingness to listen as we do our best to address the dire need for Bridge Housing within our area.
As real estate, education and financial service professionals, we have seen the impact of poverty and homelessness first hand. The realization that children were sleeping in a car, or arriving to school an hour early in the dead of winter trying to enter the building to get out of the cold was devastating. As a property manager, our founder has heard horror stories from tenants who had endured a home with no heat or water, dangerous malfunctioning appliances/systems, and other neglected maintenance and repairs because they were afraid to complain for fear of landlord retaliation and the loss of their homes and vouchers. Stable tenancy and/or home ownership are well out of reach for these individuals.
Did you know that, according to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition, a single individual would need to make $15.25/hour while working 40 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment? A single mother or veteran would need to work 73 hours a week under the current minimum wage ($8.30) to afford a two-bedroom apartment (NEOCH). The wait list and lottery system to qualify for a county housing voucher could be years long and there is no guarantee of being chosen to receive assistance with paying rent. Even upon receipt of a voucher, many owners do not accept them and some of those who do offer mice and roach infested units in high crime areas. Safe, affordable, clean rental unit inventory is extremely low, but demand is astronomically high.
As we seek to help single mothers and veterans rising out of homelessness, we do so with the knowledge of several disturbing statistics that motivate our efforts:
• Half of homeless children experience two or more illnesses per month
• Homeless children are 20% more likely to suffer from anxiety, sleep deprivation and depression than housed children
• 80% of homeless children fall into the bottom quartile of Achievement test
(Family Housing Fund)
• Research produced in America shows the increased risk of adolescent drug abuse among the homeless population, with 71% of homeless children reporting drug or alcohol abuse disorders (Gilvarry, 2000)
• Based on data from 44 states, the 2016-2017 national average graduation rate for homeless students was only 64% (36% Dropout rate)
• Over the past thirteen years, the national number of homeless students has increased by 70%
It is important to note that our organization will seek funding initially for phase 1 (start-up and initial projects), phase 2 we are planning for 50% rental income and 50% funding (acquire and renovate more homes for rent and resell), phase 3: we will independently support ourselves with rental and home sales revenue.
Individuals and families alike long for a safe, clean, affordable place to live. Everyone deserves a place to call home, but not everyone has access to such a place. With community support and partnerships, we have a vision to renovate as many of the 80,000 vacant Cuyahoga county units/homes as possible, transforming entire communities for those rising tenants and homeowners who are in need. Give the foundation of home by contributing to our effort as we strive to protect and nurture our most vulnerable. Join Us….