One of the hardest things about struggling through Kara’s disabling medical condition was knowing that she would never be able to work again. “I’ve always worked. I’ve never had to ask for help, so this is something new. I don’t like to ask for help.” After being diagnosed with a disabling brain disease, Kara’s entire world began to crumble. As medical bills loomed large, she had to quit her job and nearly lost her home because of her illness and the lack of affordable housing.
Kara’s three children ages 4, 7 and 16 needed a sense of normalcy. Keeping them in the Wayzata school system was important. But that meant asking for help.
With the help of her case manager, Kara submitted applications for 120 different housing waitlists. It was a nearly impossible task with her cognitive struggles. But she persisted – for her kids’ sake. “I had to because you know with my disease, I have to keep everything organized, or I would forget everything I did.”
She gained support and strength from her case manager for staying positive, taking one day at a time, and connecting the dots.
Finally, after hundreds of emails, phone calls and tears, one of the housing applications was accepted in September 2018.
Funds from the Sleep Out helped Kara pay housing application fees and a few months’ rent, among other things, preventing homelessness, while she searched for a new home.
Kara remembers moving into their three-bedroom townhome and placing a plastic play kitchen set in the living room for her daughter Jazmyne. Her case manager, Aparna, says, “Kara is such a great mom. All decisions about her life are based on what’s good for her kids.”
Kara’s story of strength and struggle is still unfolding. But for now, her housing works – so child care, transportation, food are stabilized, and her children did not have to switch schools.
*Names were changed to protect program participant privacy