Due to an unemployment insurance technicality, Ann, a Cambridge resident, found herself turning to HomeStart for rental assistance. She soon discovered that her new advocate, Elizabeth Enos, could provide her with so much more than that.
Ann, 63, had been living in her single room occupancy unit for over five years. During that time, she was laid off from the private company she was working for. “I was behind on my rent because of an unemployment technicality,” she said. Ann was working with people at the Cambridge Senior Center on an unrelated issue at the time, when they referred her to the Cambridge Multi-Service Center to seek help with rental assistance. This is where she met advocate Enos, who works for HomeStart out of the Center’s facility.
Enos explained, “We assisted with the arrangement and worked out a plan to help Ann deal with her decreased income, basically putting her on a budget.” However, the work did not stop there. Ann explained that she had been working on several issues but doing so with numerous different advocates. As a result, some elements were overlooked, including a chance for Ann to receive Section Eight housing.
Since Ann has some physical and cognitive disabilities due to a brain injury at birth, Enos was able to help her out with her Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) applications as well as other issues. Enos is now working on getting a disability priority on Ann’s Section Eight application.
“I got early retirement and SSDI benefits with help from Beth,” Ann said. “It was confusion before Beth, she is consolidating everything.” The two have been working together for about one year. Enos said, “Things fell through the cracks due to too many advocates. The consolidation of all these efforts actually brought things together so they actually work correctly.” Ann added, “Working with HomeStart has helped an awful lot, my life was falling apart, and they put it back together.”