Aamar and Taabish’s father, an immigrant from the Middle East, died when they were just young boys. Their mother, also an immigrant, single-handedly raised the American-born boys, both of whom have disabilities, while she struggled with her own severe health issues. When her health issues escalated and required hospitalization, her boys, now ages 17 and 20, found themselves at the Embry Rucker Community Shelter (ERCS), scared and ill-prepared to manage life without their mother.
With the Rapid Re-housing strategy, a program utilized throughout the nation, ERCS minimizes the negative outcomes of homelessness by minimizing the period of time people experience it. Once in a home, individuals and families can approach their problems from solid footing — goals that are much harder to achieve from shelter or other temporary housing.
The ERCS Team coached and counseled Aamar and Taabish to prepare them for permanent housing, from basic life skills such as cooking and cleaning for themselves, doing laundry and shopping for groceries, to employment counseling to learn employment readiness and interview skills. Collaborative supportive services were provided by Community Services Board, FAITH, Multi-Cultural Clinical Center, Fairfax County Public Schools, Department of Family Services, DARS, and the REACH Program.
After four months in the shelter, Aamar and Taabish now share their first home. Although fearful, they are excited to be on their own. They will continue to receive supportive services to help them stay in and maintain their home. Their Cornerstones Case Manager, Ashley Stright, says, “Aamar and Taabish are wonderful clients who worked diligently to achieve many goals surrounding self-sufficiency. They handled the challenging circumstances of their homelessness with grace and courage, and never once complained. The ERCS team is very proud of these young men for all of their successes and hard work throughout their stay.”
It costs $5,000 to move a family and $2,500 to move an individual from shelter to housing. Cornerstones’ Rapid Re-Housing Challenge goal is to house 15 families and 25 individuals between July 1st and September 30th, totaling $140,000, and we are well on our way to reaching the goal. Your support will help Aamar and Taabish and others like them maintain their self-sufficiency.