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MONICA'S STORY

Colocation to Relocation

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No heat for months at a time. Rodent infestation. Electricity outages. Mold.  These are conditions that one wouldn’t wish on their worst enemy. But for Monica, a mother of six children, it was her reality for over a year while living in Chelsea.

Monica did what she could to try to change her situation. She tried to work with her landlord to get things fixed and called the inspectional services department in Chelsea. Nothing seemed to work.

“There were days that I felt totally drained after doing all of the leg work trying to fix my living conditions. It didn’t leave much time for me to spend doing things with my kids,” said Monica. “I got to the point where I knew I had to figure out a way to relocate my family. That was the safest thing to do for our well-being with everything that was going on.”

Monica began calling every social service agency she could find and eventually reached CONNECT in Chelsea.  CONNECT offers many supportive services to residents of Chelsea and is one of the many colocation sites in Greater Boston served by Metro Housing.

It was through the help of CONNECT and Metro Housing that Monica was able to receive the resources she needed to relocate her family. Once she found a new apartment in Dorchester, she applied for financial assistance through RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition) that helped with her move-in costs. Because most of her family’s furniture had been destroyed by rodents, Metro Housing was able to assist with purchasing beds for her and her children.

"With CONNECT and Metro Housing, it was like God sent me angels. I couldn’t rely on family and friends, so God sent me complete strangers, but I got all of the help that I needed for me and my children to be safe." 
- MONICA

Looking back, Monica wonders how she ever got past that horrible time in her life.

“There is no handbook. You just do it. Even if you don’t have the resources, you have to figure it out. Once you are able to rely on your inner strength, the universe embraces you. With CONNECT and Metro Housing, it was like God sent me angels. I couldn’t rely on family and friends, so God sent me complete strangers, but I got all of the help that I needed for me and my children to be safe. They listened to me and treated me like I was human. They showed that they cared.”

RAFT

The RAFT program helps keep households in stable housing situations when facing eviction, loss of utilities, and other housing emergencies. RAFT provides qualifying households with maximum benefit limit of $7,000 per household in a 12-month period. RAFT can cover utilities, moving costs, and overdue rent. Renters or landlords can apply by submitting an online application.

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