United Way Launches Permanent Housing Program

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Linda Brown was one of the individuals helped by Home for Good's pilot program. She was previously living in a hotel, but is now settled in a more permanent housing situation. (Courtesy United Way.)
Linda Brown was one of the individuals helped by Home for Good’s pilot program. She was previously living in a hotel, but is now settled in a more permanent housing situation. (Courtesy United Way)

With as many as 129 homeless people living in the Greater Williamsburg community and hundreds more in unstable housing situations, United Way wanted to create a new initiative to find people a new home.

Home for Good aims to provide rental qualification, rental subsidies and case management to families in an effort to help them become more independent and stable.

The initiative went through a two-year pilot period before the United Way of Greater Williamsburg’s Board of Directors last month authorized $450,000 to span over three years for Home for Good.

“We’ve been actively testing this model in the community for two years with much success and we’re ready to expand its scope to benefit even more insecurely housed families,” said Sharon Gibson-Ellis, Executive Director of the United Way.

During the pilot, United Way worked with two landlords in the community to successfully stabilize nine families through discounted and subsidized rent.

United Way is hopeful that Home for Good will serve up to 45 households once the program is fully implemented.

In contrast to the many emergency and temporary housing initiatives that already exist in the community, Home for Good will be the first large-scale permanent housing program to serve this area.

“We are now looking to use our resources and community partnerships to develop long-term solutions for community challenges where we know we can impact real change,” said Jake Liebler, President of United Way’s Board of Directors.

The success of this program could address a previously unfulfilled need in the community and have a significant effect on those families who are currently homeless or living in unstable housing conditions.

“After working in emergency and transitional housing, a permanent housing program is the next logical step to better serve our community,” Gibson-Ellis said.