May 012023

After a Year of Homelessness, a Young Family Finds Stability

On March 27, Abby, Caleb and their 1-year-old son slept in their own home for the first time. After a year of couch surfing or sleeping in attics, and most recently, living in their car, they finally have a place they can call home, thanks to the new youth Rapid Rehousing Program.
Abby and Caleb were referred to Project 16:49 by Head Start in Beloit, and enrolled in our Rapid Rehousing Program on March 1. Both youth work part-time jobs and attend high school. Caleb is graduating early from Fresh Start. The young couple’s journey through homelessness finally ended when ECHO’s housing navigator secured them a 3-bedroom duplex. It marked the first time either of them had signed a lease, and provides their 1-year-old son his first bedroom. More importantly, they have a safe place to bring home their new baby, born on St. Patrick’s Day. Now with a stable foundation, this young family is excited to start working on their bigger goals.
Project 16:49, in collaboration with ECHO, recently expanded its services to offer Rapid Rehousing to youth experiencing homelessness. This new program is part of the Youth Homelessness Demonstration Project, a nationwide initiative to end youth homelessness in communities across the country. The program provides up to 24 months of rent assistance, case management and supportive services. Participants create personalized goal plans to achieve self-sufficiency and work toward becoming independent young adults.
–Youth’s names have been changed