A little over 6 months ago, we celebrated the accomplishments of Iyon Johnson, THC’s Client Achievement Award winner at our annual Living in the City Reception and Benefit. She spoke poignantly about her experiences and reflected on the medical challenges that tipped her family into homelessness:
In January of 2007, I underwent what I thought was a minor surgery but what I didn’t know was from that one surgery I would be admitted to the hospital each month for an entire year. As a result, that year I lost my home, experienced a tremendous amount of pain, and lived from place to place all the while.
Iyon and her family moved from shelter to transitional housing to THC’s scattered site transitional housing program, finally landing at Fort View Apartments shortly after it was opened by THC and Somerset Development. While there, she was a recipient of the Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP), a housing subsidy that allows residents to pay 30% of their income in rent while the rest is covered by the DC government.
In May of 2012, Iyon received her Master’s degree in Counseling from Trinity College which she had worked on throughout her time spent with THC, spending hours in the Fort View computer lab completing assignments and looking for work in her field. A little over a year ago, she found gainful employment at the Department of Human Services, where she works as a Vocational Development Specialist/Case Coordination. Iyon works specifically with parents receiving TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families) supporting them in their efforts to transform their circumstances while receiving this critical subsidy. As a former recipient of this support, Iyon sees her experience as a powerful way to relate to her clients and show them that they can make change in their lives!
After receiving not one, but two raises in her time at DHS, Iyon found that she could afford to move out of Fort View. So in July, she and her now teenage children (Anaya and Anaes) moved to a three bedroom house in Anacostia. Iyon spoke of her readiness to move out of Fort View, saying that, “It’s time for another family to receive that support.” *
Iyon Johnson’s story is a beautiful example of the transformations that a family can create in their lives when they have the stability of safe affordable housing.
To learn more about Iyon’s Story, watch her interview from last May: http://bit.ly/1yajEZb
*And they are! One third of the units at Fort View and Webster Gardens are reserved specifically for extremely low income families that receive LRSP. The site-based LRSP voucher remains tied to the unit, so when one
family moves out, the next family will receive it!