This week I got a better sense of the project, which data points are available, and some of the possible implications that may arise in analyzing the data. For example, someone may be paying their rent on time but could still be evicted for over occupancy, property damage, poor housekeeping, causing nuisance, and more. This could skew the analysis of the Gifts of Kindness program, as a Gifts of Kindness grant may have successfully prevented someone from a non-payment eviction, but not a different type of eviction. As I listen to people involved in the process, I’m beginning to understand how truly complex the issue is. There are so many factors and circumstances that are specific to each person, which will cause challenges in evaluating the success of the program.
I also had the opportunity to attend one of the home readiness workshops that Homeport provides. Homeport offers a variety of classes related to financial health and home ownership to help people become financially stable and attain permanent housing. The home readiness workshop that I attended focused on the initial steps in preparing to buy a home, and was followed by a one-on-one session with a housing advisor to discuss the client’s current situation and needs. The client who attended the workshop expressed that she had never learned this information before, and that it gave her a whole new understanding of what she could do to move towards owning home.
Each day here comes with an immense amount of new knowledge. Even in passing conversations throughout the office I am able to learn more about people’s experiences at Homeport. Keeping an open mind and a listening ear is essential to learning and serving, and remembering the people behind the data I’m using will help to build a complete picture of the struggles that too many Columbus residents face.