Thanks to our committed partners and generous donors, the Michael R. Carper Hope & Opportunity Fund has supported over 125 individuals and families in crisis and facing eviction. In 2019 alone, 70 awards were made totaling $46,657. The fund was instrumental in providing residents access to immediate cash assistance to help them cover emergency situations in their lives such as illness, loss of a job, car repair, or other costly event. These are events that can be catastrophic and place individuals and families at risk for losing their homes. On average, the amount of money needed to avoid eviction filings is just $600 and through the Hope & Opportunity Fund, residents of HDC communities can access critical funds and very often are able to stay in their homes.
One of the many residents who has been impacted by the Hope & Opportunity Fund is Shari. Here is some of her story.
Shari is in her mid 50’s. She is soft spoken and a careful listener. Careful listening is a habit she picked up after suffering a stroke that left her nearly deaf in one ear. Hearing loss isn’t her only challenge. That stroke put Shari in a coma for a period of time and now she lives daily with disabilities as a result.
Shari has very limited income—a little more than $700 a month to cover rent, food, and prescriptions. Not much left over after the bills for life’s little pleasures. Despite the hardships, Shari is positive, grateful and full of smiles especially when you ask her about her home. Shari lives in an efficiency unit at Skyline View Apartments in Reading, Pa. Before moving to Skyline View, Shari bounced from place to place with her mother. They even lived in a homeless shelter briefly.
Shari thought she might be headed back to the shelter after she found herself in crisis. She was facing eviction and homelessness again, after her mother, who was also her roommate, moved out. Shari didn’t want to move again. “I have friends here. I have a community,” she said. But with no resources to fall back on, Shari was unsure what to do. She didn’t have enough income to cover the rent without her mother’s share. She turned to the community and tried to find help, but time and again was told there were no resources available to help her.
As a last resort, Shari reached out to HDC MidAtlantic’s Resident Services. Resident Services works to strengthen the mental, physical, financial and emotional health of our residents and communities. In Shari’s case, the Resident Service Coordinator worked with the Community Manager at Skyline View Apartments to come up with a plan.
First, they knew Shari wouldn’t be able to stay in her current apartment. She simply didn’t have the income to afford it long-term. So the community manager helped Shari relocate into an available efficiency apartment at Skyline that fit within her means. Next, the Resident Service Coordinator helped Shari with budgeting and got her on a payment plan. Lastly, they helped Shari apply for help from the Carper Hope & Opportunity Fund to relieve her of the outstanding rent she was responsible for after her mother moved. Shari owed roughly $500—nearly 70% of her monthly income and the difference between having a roof over her head and homelessness.
You can help support this vital resource for HDC residents by giving. Tax-deductible contributions may be made securely online or by mailing your check payable to HDC MidAtlantic) to:
ATTN: Carper Hope & Opportunity Fund
4-6 West King Street, Suite 4
Lancaster, PA 17603
Your contribution, no matter the size, will make a real difference in someone’s life. Thank you for your generosity and support.