Another week full of learning at Homeport!
I am really starting to see first hand how housing plays a key role in all aspects of a person’s life. Housing stability can ensure job stability, higher school performance, better health, and more. Each day I learn more about the importance of providing stable and supportive housing, and grow in my passion for alleviating this pressing issue.
I started the week with a meeting with one of Homeport’s property management partners. Homeport builds affordable housing developments, but then passes on the day-to-day management duties to three different companies. The meeting was focused on collecting the necessary data from the management company to conduct the eviction analysis, but I learned much more outside of that. The manager we met with explained how the company tries their best to not evict tenants, but are often forced to. Evictions can happen for many reasons; some of the primary being non-payment, property damage, crime, drugs, over occupancy, and health code violations. In many of these cases, the property manager or landlord is required by law to evict a tenant. There are also many circumstances where a tenant isn’t actually evicted, but is still forced move out. Affordability issues often arise, and a tenant will leave before they receive an eviction notice. A resident may become a victim of a violent crime, pushing them out of the property with nowhere else to go. A woman and her children may flee their home to escape domestic violence. Hearing from the property manager changed how I understood home stability. Preventing an eviction is merely one facet of creating stable housing, and understanding the other reasons people leave their homes is crucial to understanding how to support permanent housing.
I also had the opportunity to attend eviction court hearings with one of Homeport’s property managers. Each case was roughly 5 minutes or less, and in those few minutes people lost their homes. Seeing eviction court proceedings gave even more meaning to the work Homeport does and the work that I am doing analyzing eviction prevention strategies. I can read statistics on how many people are evicted each year or how many children live without a home, but it’s hard to truly grasp those figures until seeing an exhausted mother in the court room with her three kids, awaiting a decision that will ultimately leave them homeless.
I’m learning more and more about these tragic situations, and the incredible work Homeport does to help. While learning about and facing these issues can be tough, there is hope. There is hope in the passion that drives everyone who works with Homeport, and there is hope in the difference that Homeport makes in someone’s life each day. I’m excited to be contributing to this work and to continue learning about what all of us can do to help.
Until next week,