Success Story — Carmen

Carmen is able to find housing with CASS’ Deposit Assistance


Carmen is a 68-year-old, disabled Hispanic female who had been experiencing homelessness since being evicted from an apartment she moved into with Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) assistance four years prior. When RRH assistance concluded, Carmen was unable to keep up with monthly rent payments because her fixed income from SSI benefits was inadequate to cover her rent. After Carmen was evicted from her home, she began to sleep in her nephew’s van. Eventually, Carmen transitioned to camping in a tent outside the Human Services Campus gates.

Carmen decided to come to CASS after a few months of camping, hoping she would receive the help she needed to find a place she could call home. When Carmen first met her case manager, she expressed that she felt lost and had very little hope. This was because Carmen had previously been told by homeless services workers that factors such as her past eviction, limited fixed income, and criminal history would make finding a home virtually impossible. Despite her despondency, three months into working with her CASS case manager, Carmen was able to increase her SSI benefit amount by following her case manager’s advice to connect with a SOAR specialist and request a case review. Carmen also started attending appointments with her PO regularly and engaging with services to help her begin recovering from alcohol use disorder.

Carmen expressed numerous times to her case manager that she felt very positive and hopeful every time she came to her case meetings because she didn’t feel like she was alone anymore. One morning, Carmen’s case manager received confirmation that Carmen was approved for move-in to her new residence in the last week of July. Carmen broke down in tears when she heard the news and couldn’t restrain herself from giving her case manager an enormous hug and an endless stream of thanks for the help she had provided Carmen toward achieving housing. Carmen’s case manager gladly transported Carmen with her belongings from CASS to her new home on the day of her move-in.

When it was time to part ways, Carmen tried her best not to cry and thanked her case manager one last time, saying, “I’m glad I listened to you. You were right, it was worth hanging on. Look at this place! It’s perfect for me. Thank you, mija.” Carmen and her case manager hugged, after which her case manager reminded Carmen that she was still able to use the Human Services Campus for any available resources that she may need.

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