In light of local conditions, the pandemic, aftermath of the Derecho, and economy, Waypoint’s Housing Services are in historically high demand with the community seeing the number of households experiencing homelessness or a housing crisis over triple the past few years. This has created a loss of safety and stability among the highest need and vulnerable populations.  

According to Waypoint’s Director of Housing Services J’nae Peterman, “This increase is due to several different factors, but mainly what we are seeing are households who are unable to afford their monthly rent amount. Rental amounts have increased quite a bit since the pandemic. This is due to the demand on the housing market, increased costs of living impacting property owners, or property owners trying to recoup some of the costs they lost during the eviction moratorium. We are seeing this happen alongside inflation where the cost of utilities, groceries, clothing, and other basic needs have increased. While wages have increased, the cost of living has already surpassed that causing more households than ever to struggle financially.” 

Waypoint serves as the central point of contact for all households experiencing a housing crisis or seeking emergency shelter. This program is called Coordinated Entry and helps ensure the most vulnerable populations have fair and equal access to housing services. Prior to the pandemic and Derecho, Waypoint served 3,003 individuals, last fiscal year (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022), 13,039 individuals were served. Showing how much the recent world events have affected individuals in our own community. 

In response, Waypoint has hired additional staff, expanded programming, and created efficiencies to help meet this unprecedented demand for housing services.   

Waypoint’s other housing programs consist of the following: 

  • Madge Phillips Center Shelter: Providing women and families with children experiencing homelessness with overnight shelter, basic needs, and case management.
    - Served 183 individuals last fiscal year, 90% of them exited to permanent housing. 

  • Rapid Re-Housing: Helping households experiencing homelessness secure permanent housing through housing search, landlord advocacy, case management, and limited financial assistance. 
    - Served 315 individuals last fiscal year, 68% of them exited to permanent housing. 

  • Homeless Prevention: Supporting households who are at risk of entering the homeless service system with referrals to community resources to support housing stabilization 
    - Served 1,039 individuals last fiscal year, 91% of them exited to permanent housing. 

  • Tenant Academy: A nine-hour course providing individuals with “certification of completion” to show reliability and knowledge to potential landlords. 

To help continue meeting these growing, urgent needs, Waypoint is asking the community to please consider a donation, especially as winter approaches when safe housing and shelter become increasingly important. Funds will be used for staffing and program costs to ensure Waypoint can meet the increased need. 

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