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Nay Nay's Story - California Housing Partnership Corporation

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Nay Nay's Story - California Housing Partnership Corporation Powered By Docstoc
						
  
	
  
                                                Affordable	
  Housing	
  Resident	
  Storybook	
  


Nay	
  Nay’s	
  Story	
                                                                                                                                    Cobb	
  Apartments	
  
                                                                       	
              	
  	
                                                  Los	
  Angeles,	
  California	
  
                                                                                                                                          Los	
  Angeles	
  County,	
  CA	
  34	
  
                                                                                                  	
  
                                                                                                                                                                               	
  
                                                                                                                                        	
              	
  
                                                                                                                                                      	
  Financed	
  through:	
  	
  
                                                                                                                                              Project-­‐based	
  Section	
  8,	
  	
  
                                                                                                                                   McKinney-­‐Vento	
  Shelter	
  Plus	
  Care,	
  	
  
                                                                                                                                        HOME,	
  and	
  LIHTC	
  Programs	
  

After	
  experiencing	
  much	
  of	
  this	
  year’s	
  long,	
  cold	
  and	
  rainy	
  winter	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  left	
  her	
  spot	
  under	
  an	
  onramp	
  to	
  the	
  10	
  Freeway	
  to	
  
move	
  into	
  an	
  apartment	
  at	
  the	
  Trust’s	
  Charles	
  Cobb	
  Apartments	
  in	
  January.	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  is	
  the	
  first	
  of	
  many	
  future	
  residents	
  to	
  get	
  
into	
  homes	
  provided	
  by	
  the	
  Trust	
  through	
  the	
  new	
  Prioritization	
  Project.	
  She	
  says	
  that	
  if	
  it	
  were	
  not	
  for	
  the	
  support	
  provided	
  by	
  
the	
  Trust	
  and	
  our	
  community	
  partners	
  through	
  the	
  Prioritization	
  Project,	
  she	
  would	
  still	
  be	
  on	
  the	
  street	
  today.	
  “I	
  wasn’t	
  looking	
  
for	
  any	
  help,”	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  admits.	
  “I	
  felt	
  like	
  I	
  was	
  doing	
  okay,	
  but	
  deep	
  down	
  I	
  really	
  wasn’t.”	
  Before	
  moving	
  to	
  Cobb	
  Apartments	
  
Nay	
  Nay	
  had	
  been	
  homeless	
  for	
  10	
  years,	
  sleeping	
  in	
  trucks,	
  cars,	
  parks	
  and	
  anywhere	
  else	
  she	
  could	
  find.	
  “At	
  first	
  I	
  didn’t	
  even	
  
think	
  about	
  it	
  (being	
  homeless),”	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  said.	
  “I	
  just	
  took	
  it	
  one	
  day	
  at	
  a	
  time.”	
  Months	
  before	
  moving	
  into	
  the	
  Cobb,	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  
had	
  come	
  down	
  to	
  Los	
  Angeles	
  from	
  Acton,	
  where	
  she	
  had	
  been	
  in	
  the	
  Acton	
  Rehabilitation	
  Center	
  and	
  a	
  sober	
  living	
  program	
  for	
  
drug	
  and	
  alcohol	
  treatment.	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  has	
  been	
  battling	
  alcohol	
  addiction	
  since	
  she	
  first	
  experienced	
  alcohol	
  at	
  12	
  years	
  old.	
  Once	
  
in	
  Los	
  Angeles,	
  one	
  of	
  Nay	
  Nay’s	
  sisters	
  helped	
  her	
  reunite	
  with	
  her	
  brother,	
  Andre,	
  who	
  had	
  recently	
  moved	
  into	
  the	
  Trust’s	
  New	
  
Carver	
  Apartments	
  after	
  overcoming	
  his	
  own	
  bout	
  with	
  homelessness.	
  “I	
  was	
  so	
  happy,	
  I	
  hadn’t	
  seen	
  him	
  for	
  15	
  odd	
  years,”	
  Nay	
  
Nay	
  added.	
  “I	
  didn’t	
  recognize	
  him	
  when	
  he	
  came	
  out	
  of	
  the	
  bus.”	
  That	
  night	
  she	
  stayed	
  in	
  Andre’s	
  apartment	
  at	
  the	
  Carver.	
  
Andre	
  asked	
  her	
  if	
  she	
  would	
  be	
  willing	
  to	
  stay	
  nearby	
  so	
  that	
  he	
  could	
  try	
  to	
  help	
  her.	
  The	
  next	
  day,	
  she	
  set	
  up	
  to	
  live	
  underneath	
  
the	
  freeway	
  overpass,	
  across	
  from	
  the	
  Carver,	
  where	
  she	
  would	
  come	
  to	
  stay	
  for	
  the	
  next	
  several	
  months.	
  Andre,	
  Nay	
  Nay’s	
  baby	
  
brother,	
  believed	
  that	
  if	
  she	
  just	
  stayed	
  close	
  something	
  good	
  would	
  happen	
  for	
  her.	
  “I	
  was	
  tired	
  of	
  sleeping	
  under	
  the	
  bridge,”	
  
said	
  Nay	
  Nay,	
  who	
  endured	
  the	
  long,	
  rainy	
  winter	
  season	
  last	
  year	
  completely	
  outdoors.	
  	
  
	
  
The	
  breakthrough	
  that	
  led	
  to	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  being	
  able	
  to	
  break	
  10	
  years	
  of	
  homelessness	
  came	
  at	
  the	
  New	
  Carver	
  Block	
  Party,	
  last	
  
October.	
  “In	
  planning	
  for	
  the	
  block	
  party	
  Carver	
  Apartments’	
  residents	
  asked	
  that	
  representatives	
  of	
  the	
  Trust	
  be	
  on-­‐hand	
  to	
  help	
  
guests	
  who	
  were	
  still	
  homeless.	
  Carver	
  residents	
  expressed	
  that	
  they	
  felt	
  fortunate	
  for	
  the	
  homes	
  and	
  support	
  they	
  had	
  received	
  
and	
  wanted	
  to	
  share	
  those	
  same	
  blessings	
  with	
  others	
  less	
  fortunate	
  than	
  themselves.	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  was	
  able	
  to	
  meet	
  a	
  number	
  of	
  
individuals	
  who	
  work	
  for	
  the	
  Trust,	
  including	
  Raymond	
  Fuentes,	
  the	
  Trust’s	
  Leasing	
  Supervisor,	
  who	
  walked	
  her	
  through	
  the	
  
process	
  of	
  completing	
  an	
  initial	
  application.	
  “The	
  block	
  party	
  was	
  like	
  the	
  best	
  thing	
  that	
  happened	
  to	
  me,”	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  laughs.	
  She	
  
said	
  that	
  if	
  these	
  staff	
  members	
  had	
  not	
  walked	
  her	
  through	
  the	
  process,	
  she	
  would	
  have	
  never	
  applied	
  for	
  a	
  home	
  with	
  the	
  Trust.	
  
Because	
  of	
  the	
  Trust’s	
  partnership	
  with	
  Common	
  Ground,	
  one	
  of	
  the	
  community	
  partners	
  on	
  the	
  Prioritization	
  Project,	
  staff	
  were	
  
able	
  to	
  connect	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  with	
  Common	
  Ground’s	
  Street-­‐to-­‐Home	
  team,	
  who	
  helped	
  her	
  get	
  her	
  ID,	
  attend	
  appointments,	
  and	
  
complete	
  the	
  paperwork	
  required	
  to	
  qualify	
  for	
  a	
  home	
  at	
  the	
  Cobb.	
  “All	
  the	
  support	
  and	
  people,	
  everyone	
  was	
  behind	
  me,”	
  Nay	
  
Nay	
  said.	
  “People	
  were	
  more	
  happy	
  (for	
  me)	
  than	
  I	
  was.”	
  In	
  January,	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  walked	
  in	
  to	
  her	
  room	
  at	
  the	
  Cobb,	
  and	
  while	
  she	
  
admits	
  it	
  was	
  initially	
  scary,	
  she	
  said	
  that	
  she	
  had	
  never	
  been	
  so	
  happy	
  in	
  her	
  life.	
  “Wow,	
  this	
  is	
  beautiful,	
  and	
  this	
  is	
  all	
  mine,”	
  Nay	
  
Nay	
  said.	
  Today,	
  she	
  is	
  still	
  adjusting	
  to	
  having	
  her	
  own	
  place,	
  but	
  she	
  has	
  a	
  lot	
  of	
  support.	
  She	
  meets	
  with	
  Francisco,	
  her	
  case	
  
manager,	
  every	
  Monday	
  morning	
  and	
  attends	
  a	
  wide	
  variety	
  of	
  activities,	
  such	
  as	
  the	
  weekly	
  gardening	
  club.	
  She	
  also	
  said	
  she	
  has	
  
been	
  getting	
  to	
  know	
  her	
  neighbors	
  better.	
  “I	
  wouldn’t	
  give	
  it	
  up	
  for	
  nothing,”	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  said.	
  “I	
  don’t	
  want	
  to	
  go	
  back	
  there.”	
  At	
  49	
  
years	
  old,	
  Nay	
  Nay	
  is	
  experiencing	
  having	
  a	
  place	
  of	
  her	
  own	
  for	
  the	
  first	
  	
  time	
  and	
  feels	
  confident	
  that	
  her	
  time	
  on	
  the	
  streets	
  is	
  
over	
  thanks	
  to	
  the	
  help	
  and	
  support	
  of	
  staff	
  at	
  the	
  Trust	
  and	
  our	
  partners.	
  Today,	
  from	
  the	
  comfort	
  of	
  her	
  warm	
  apartment,	
  Nay	
  
Nay	
  can	
  watch	
  as	
  the	
  cold	
  winter	
  rain	
  relentlessly	
  pelts	
  her	
  window.	
  “I	
  don’t	
  even	
  go	
  outside	
  when	
  it	
  rains	
  now,”	
  she	
  says.	
  


               Nay	
  Nay’s	
  Story	
  is	
  published	
  courtesy	
  of	
  Skid	
  Row	
  Housing	
  Trust,	
  Los	
  Angeles,	
  California	
  
                                                     (213)	
  683-­‐0522	
  or	
  info@skidrow.org	
                                                                                                                          	
  
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              	
  
                                                                                                     	
  
                                              For	
  further	
  information,	
  please	
  contact	
  Marilyn	
  Wacks,	
  Housing	
  Policy	
  Manager,	
  	
  
                                                   California	
  Housing	
  Partnership,	
  415-­‐433-­‐6804	
  x313	
  or	
  mwacks@chpc.net	
  

				
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