WENATCHEE — The Wenatchee Valley will see a bump in housing assistance in the coming months.
Both SAGE Wenatchee and the Women’s Resource Center (WRC) received a $10,000 grant from Numerica Credit Union’s Home for the Holidays program, which gives to organizations that help families and individuals get out of homeless shelters and into permanent housing.
“There can be trauma, domestic violence or other unexpected experiences associated with homelessness,” Numerica spokesperson Stephanie Stevenson said. “WRC and SAGE have advocates that are passionate about assisting their clients through any crisis.”
Both organizations help individuals and families experiencing homelessness transition into permanent housing.
The WRC will put the money toward its Landlord Tenant Liaison Program, which helps individuals obtain permanent housing despite barriers like bad credit, a past eviction or inability to pay a security deposit. The center partners with private landlords who are willing to rent to households with those barriers and provides up to 24 months of case management to ensure the renter’s transition from homelessness to permanent housing is in fact permanent.
“We just received the funds on Friday and it was a complete surprise,” Executive Director Scooter Harter said.
Harter said the number of households the money will be able to help will depend on the households’ specific needs. For example, WRC this week spent $900 on a family’s first month’s rent, while another case meant paying a landlord debt of over $3,000.
The program currently partners with about a dozen landlords and has housed over 100 families since its start in 2018.
SAGE Executive Director Jessica Johnson said the grant will allow SAGE to help 10 and 20 families get into housing. The organization already offers rental assistance, such as first and last month’s rent, for those staying in its 19-bed shelter.
“People try to play nice when the holidays are close. We expect to see an increase after the first of the new year,” Johnson said. “It’s just going to help tremendously to be able to help more people find permanent housing.”
She added that SAGE will prioritize families with children under 18, individuals and families who are impacted by domestic violence and those with disabilities.