19 Dec A Home At Last
Bill had a fairly typical childhood growing up in Braintree going to school and hanging out with his friends. While still a teenager, however, he was in a serious motorcycle accident that left him disabled and unable to work. Bill lived with his family for as long as he was able.
Throughout the ensuing years, Bill would stay where he could – rooming houses, friends’ couches, shelters – but there were too many nights spent sleeping under a tarp in the woods or on a mattress beside a bottle and can redemption center.
Bill applied to the Housing Choice Voucher Program – commonly known as Section 8 – more than 15 years ago and never gave up hope that he would receive the rental assistance he needed. Early in 2019, the Braintree Housing Authority notified Bill that an apartment in Quincy had become available.
With just his monthly disability checks as income, Bill could not afford all of the moving costs, such as first and last month’s rent, plus the security deposit. He was referred to Interfaith Social Services in Quincy, one of Metro Housing’s colocation partners, and he was introduced to Darnell Wallace, Outreach Case Manager at Metro Housing.
Darnell met with Bill and walked him through the process of applying for financial assistance through the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program, known as RAFT. Funded by the Commonwealth, RAFT provides short-term financial assistance to low-income families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Bill received the assistance needed to cover his upfront costs, and he moved into his new apartment.
“My life has not been an easy one,” says Bill. “Through all of the low points, there were always people willing to lend a hand. If it wasn’t for the people at Interfaith that put me in touch with Darnell at Metro Housing, I might still be living on the streets. I am very grateful.”