Bobbie and her 4-year-old daughter, Dyllan, had been experiencing hardship and homelessness for several years when they came to ICCF in October of 2016.

They had moved from state to state, sometimes being told they hadn’t stayed long enough to qualify for aid, other times being told that they made too much money to qualify for shelter. At one point, they spent 90 days in New York City going back and forth from friends’ places to the hospital at night.

After Bobbie and her daughter moved to Michigan, they were referred to ICCF. Veronica, a Caseworker at ICCF, set Bobbie up with resources that she qualified for and partnered with her to get her housing search underway. One suggestion she offered was for Bobbie to enroll in the new Rent This Way class. “Ms. Veronica said this class would give me information on how to find and keep my apartment, so I was all for it,” noted Bobbie.

When she arrived, she was warmly greeted by the team. “I knew I was at the right place and that they were going to help.”

Bobbie attended every class and received her certificate. Soon after, she received a call that there was a vacant apartment and that she qualified.

“Rent This Way gave me the knowledge I needed to get into my own apartment – what the landlords wanted and expected from me, as well as my rights as a tenant. They also helped me budget and told me what my options were, even though my credit wasn’t the best,” Bobbie says.

“I can say that it is not an easy road, and you may feel like you’re at the end, but there is hope. Keep pushing, have faith. And most of all, help ICCF and Rent This Way help you. Putting in the work will help you get to your goal much faster. Thank you to everyone at ICCF and Rent This Way – my dream of a home came true, now my daughter and I are safe and so happy.”

About Rent This Way:

ICCF recently began offering the Rent This Way class series that Bobbie participated in to our Family Haven shelter residents as well as the households at risk of homelessness that we are assisting with short- term rent assistance. The Rent This Way series is offered in partnership with the Kent County Housing Commission and educates participants about rental responsibilities, lease agreements, landlord expectations and communication, and the budgeting responsibilities essential to being a good tenant. Participants create their own housing stability plan to help ensure that past mistakes are not repeated and earn a certification which can be presented to prospective landlords.