|Photo courtesy of the Washington Post|
“One day, when I have more of a budget, I’ll be able to put up some pictures or curtains,” she said. “It’s not lavish, but it’s home.”
Just a few years ago, McDowell and her young son had no choice but to sleep squeezed together in an easy chair at a friend’s apartment. She had lost her job, then her apartment. She found a new two-bedroom apartment through the city’s rapid rehousing program, which heavily subsidized her rent for a year before forcing her to make it on her own.
Somehow, McDowell did it. Not only did she find a job as a staff assistant, but it paid enough for her to afford the $1,050 rent.
Hers is the kind of success story the city is seeking as it relies heavily on its rapid rehousing program to end a surge in homeless families. The program places families in apartments and subsidizes their rents for up to a year, at which point they are expected to pay the market rate.