Recovery Rental Assistance Program Helps People Rebuild

By Sonya Connolly, in News
The Recovery Rental Assistance program at Joy Reigns provides short-term rental assistance grants to people residing in substance abuse recovery houses. When people first transition to a recovery house, they often do not have a job, transportation, and have exhausted their support network’s resources. In order to be accepted into a recovery house, people are often expected to pay initial fees/deposit as well as up-front front rent of one to two weeks, often about $400. Once a person moves in, rent averages $150/week.
Joy Reigns offers up to two weeks of rental assistance in the form of a grant. In order to receive a grant, recipients are asked to volunteer at the thrift shop for three shifts. This arrangement fosters healthy community relationships between thrift shop volunteers and grant recipients and serves as an opportunity for recipients to rebuild their work history. The biggest obstacle to the success of our program is a lack of transportation. Many of our inquiries come from people living in Pasadena and Glen Burnie who do not have access to private transportation. Unfortunately, to take public transportation from these areas, assuming one lives near a bus stop, it often takes approximately 3 hours to get to Edgewater. We have been fortunate to have a few volunteer drivers to assist with transportation but we do not have nearly enough.

Since its inception, we have given about $7000 in rental assistance this year. Knowledge of our program is through word of mouth only. Our goal is to have a more steady and significant budget, in addition to increasing our depth of drivers. With a firm budget and committed team of drivers, we will be able to reach out to more recovery houses, expanding our program to help even more people access and remain in recovery houses.

If you would like more information about how you can help, such as providing a donation, volunteering alongside a grant recipient, or serving as volunteer driver, contact Kelly Purnell at kellypurnell4@gmail.com.