Sprung Into A New Start
Rhonda first became homeless in May of 2014 and she soon spent several years attempting to navigate the services available for those experiencing homelessness. While Rhonda does have family around her that loves and supports her, moving in with them was never an option. Earlier in life, she spent her time as a wife and mother, taking care of her family and making sure her household ran smoothly. Because of this, her work history was limited and in turn, paid little into Social Security, which has made it difficult in recent years to be able to afford housing in San Diego.
In May of 2017, Rhonda completed her first VI-SPDAT assessment at South Bay Community Services. In November of 2017 she began working with RTFH Housing Navigation Specialist Cynthia Garza. Over the few years that she experienced homelessness, she encountered many challenges in trying to resolve her housing situation. Between limited economic resources and a lack of follow-through, she felt let down by the system and had lost hope that anything positive would come her way. It took several months and many intimate conversations for Cynthia to build a rapport and gain Rhonda’s trust, but with time they formed a great working relationship. In addition to her homelessness, Rhonda had been experiencing multiple health issues and Cynthia was concerned for her well-being. Rhonda had gone to the emergency room several times within a few short months, being admitted for days at a time. In collaboration with Kelly, Kyle, and other Alpha Project staff, Rhonda was able to get a bed at the Alpha Project Sprung Structure while she waited for a housing resource to come her way. In March of 2018, Rhonda was matched to a Permanent Supportive Housing vacancy at Alpha Square, giving her an opportunity to get off the street and into her own space with supportive services to help keep her housed and healthy. She moved into her apartment on May 7th and has been a happy resident ever since.
Rhonda’s narrative highlights how San Diego's Coordinated Entry System can be effective at reducing homelessness when community service providers come together to collaborate, serve, and house our fellow San Diegan neighbors who experience homelessness.