When Kylie says, “Life doesn’t stop for anybody,” the Cedar Rapids, IA, mom know knows what she’s talking about. This year, her three-year-old son, Cooper, underwent a kidney transplant, and finances have been tight as her partner, David, experienced an employment rollercoaster caused by the health pandemic.
“We hit a rough patch,” she says. “But rental assistance has helped, and our landlords are wonderful.”
Their landlords, Gutschmidt Properties, are committed to offering tenants safe, environmentally friendly housing. Sandy Locke, director of operations at the property management firm, says, “There’s more to leasing a home than rent. We deal with people’s lives.”
Locke learned many of those lives were adversely affected by the health pandemic – dozens of tenants in Gutschmidt’s 80 units were so severely impacted by COVID they couldn’t afford rent.
“Some families were just a month or two behind but couldn’t get caught up,” Locke says. “As a small business, it was a lot of money to float for so long.”
When Family Promise of Linn County learned of the situation, they reached out to help. A donor-funded Family Promise Innovation Grant for homelessness prevention enabled the Affiliate to cover rent arrears for every family in need, a huge relief to 30 tenants.
Kylie and David’s family was one of the households that received support. Kylie is a full-time student and spends much of her time caring for Cooper.
If it weren’t for rental assistance and our landlords, we’d probably have been homeless,” says Kylie.
As COVID persists and tenants continue to face struggles, Locke acknowledges the safety net Family Promise offers through its prevention work.
“It was a relief to work with Family Promise and provide immediate help,” she says. “We all appreciate that.”
This year, thousands of families like Kylie and David’s faced life-altering challenges. Their situations were unique, but they had one thing in common: Family Promise. Family Promise Affiliates across the country provided families in need with food, shelter, job search assistance, and access to critical resources. But we couldn’t have done it without the support of people like you.
Your support enables families in crisis to turn tragedy into triumph.