Adira called 211 to ask for help finding shelter. The woman she spoke with told her to come to a shelter in Plymouth by 6:30 p.m. “That’s when I was like, “I’m just going to do it,” Adira says. “I’m going to go through all these programs and other stuff. I’m not going to mess around.”
Supportive Housing Services Helped Adira find housing and learn about finances
Adira worked with Wilder Family Supportive Housing Services, which uses a Housing First model to move families and youth into housing quickly. With housing addressed, families can work on some of the factors that led them to homelessness in the first place.
Adira first worked with the ROOF Project Rapid rehousing program at Wilder. Wilder’s housing team helped Adira find an affordable apartment in Saint Paul. The apartment wasn’t ideal, but it allowed Adira to focus on her next steps to stability. She was particularly interested in gaining more financial management skills, and said that the team at Wilder helped her one step at a time.
Adira says that members of the supportive housing team provided support by being responsive and listening to her. “I always had stuff in my mind,” she says. “I was stuck, just stuck.” At Wilder, Adira says, “people listen to me when I tell them stories and stuff, instead of thinking I’m saying it just to say it.”
After supportive housing services, Adira moves on to building assets with Wilder
After two years in her Saint Paul apartment, Adira was ready for the next step in her life. She moved to her current apartment building in Roseville. Wilder's Direct Housing Assistance Program gave Adira a financial cushion that helped ease her transition into market-rate housing.
Through the Direct Housing Assistance Program, Wilder sends payments directly to landlords or mortgage companies for up to 12 months. The maximum amount of $3,000 is relatively small, but the impact of these payments can help families stay out of crisis and keep working toward their goals.
“Families don’t always need intensive services,” says Antonia Coleman, who manages Direct Housing Assistance at Wilder. “People know what they want and need to thrive, and sometimes a little boost helps.”
Adira took part in Direct Housing Assistance for a year and is now paying rent fully on her own. In September 2023, she began the next phase toward building assets. She was accepted into the newest cohort of Rai$e, a Wilder guaranteed income program that supports financial stability by providing participants with $500 per month for 12 months with no strings attached.
Along with direct cash payments, participants in Rai$e have access to optional workshops and other resources to support their financial goals. Participants help shape the program by completing surveys throughout the year and sharing stories of how the money is changing conditions in their lives.
Adira is excited about the opportunities she will have through Rai$e, and she’s not done pursuing her goals for stable housing and work, staying on top of her bills and taking care of her kids. “Don’t stop,” she says. “You can keep pushing yourself to go farther.”