Every Story is Different

Every Story is Different

Listening Ear’s rental programs work with various community partners and programs to help people in need. These programs include: EightCap, The Wounded Warrior Project, Rapid Re-Housing, MSHDA Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher, Mt. Pleasant Housing Commission, RISE Women Shelter, and many more. The goal is to build people up and support them in their journey to become self-sufficient. Listening Ear cannot guarantee success; but the willingness to grow as a human, can and will.

Most of the individuals in these programs deal with immense hardship. Listening Ear provides them with a support system designed to help navigate the barriers that have kept permanent housing out of their reach. They come from a wide range of situations, including experiencing domestic violence, mental health issues, evictions, and criminal backgrounds.

In 2016, a woman came into Listening Ear, eight months pregnant with a MSHDA Section 8 Voucher. There were 20 days left until it expired her baby was due within a few days. If her voucher expired without her having secured an apartment, she would move to the end of the waitlist. Additionally, if she did not have stable living situation by the time her baby was born, she would lose custody of her child. During her intake it was discovered that she had three older children who she had previously lost custody of due to housing instability and drug use.

Listening Ear took a chance on her, signed her Section 8 paperwork and we prepared to move her into Horizon West, our 48-unit affordable housing community in Mt. Pleasant. The time for her lease signing came and went. She wasn’t there. It seemed like she was going to lose everything she was working so hard for. The next day, she came into the office looking obviously flustered, overwhelmed, and nervous that she wouldn’t be able to get the apartment. She explained to us that her past had caught up with her the day before and she was arrested on her way to the lease signing appointment. But, she was willing to face the consequences and understood if we needed to give the apartment to someone else. So, we decided to give her, and her unborn baby, one more chance.

A month later, she gave birth to a little boy and was able to take him home to a stable environment. Within a year, she was granted visitations with her three older children and became employed. Within two years, she was able to earn a livable wage from her long-term employment and move forward with her life thanks to the Section 8 program and the chance Listening Ear gave her. As of January 2022, she resides in the same apartment, paying her bills, and raising her children successfully. Of course, she still has her hardships, but now she has the tools to conquer them as they come.

Her next goal, is to locate a larger apartment, so she can regain custody of her three older children. As long as she continues to grow as a human, she will continue to be successful.

Every success story looks different, but Listening Ear is here to help.

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