Crossroads Family Shelter resident Nurys and former resident CeeCee gave emotional testimony last Friday morning in front of a crowd of housing advocates and East Boston elected officials at a breakfast hosted by the Shelter.
Nurys and CeeCee and other housing advocates were at Crossroads last week to lobby elected officials like Senator Anthony Petruccelli and House Speaker Robert DeLeo to preserve funding to the state’s Rental Voucher Program (MRVP) and HomeBASE program.
Nurys story was not unlike other homeless residents at Crossroads in the state’s shelter system. A victim of domestic violence, Nurys found herself in need of shelter and found help from Crossroads and the state’s MRVP.
“I endured abuse until I could no longer handle it,” said Nurys.
“So I arrived at shelter with my 12 year old son.”
After enduring many hardships Nurys took English classes, became a U.S. Citizen and recently completed a GED program.
A few months ago, Nurys received a MRVP so she can continue her dream of a stable life.
“I want to thank Crossroads for opening their doors for me and my son when we had no place else to go,” she said. “Now that I have a voucher through MRVP I can finally have a place to call home.”
CeeCee, a shelter resident and HomeBASE recipient followed Nurys’s story Friday morning.
“I was 22 with my two year-old son when my family could no longer afford our Quincy apartment,” said CeeCee. “We split up, and my son and I were left alone and homeless.”
After bouncing from shelter to shelter, CeeCee was able to get a job but still needed housing support. Her next move was to Crossroads.
“I felt supported, I was encouraged to continue to work & they were flexible when it came to chores and curfew so that I could manage my work schedule,” she said.
CeeCee was then moved to Crossroads Scattered Site apartment in Revere.
“That was another moment filled with mixed emotions,” she said. “I was so excited about the privacy and the extra space for my active toddler–yet I was frustrated that I would be moving out of another place where my son and I had managed to get somewhat established.”
CeeCee then finally received a HomeBASE voucher a year ago and is finally on her own. However, she admits she is still terrified if funding cuts jeopardize her stability.
“I have had Home Base rental assistance for a year now,” she said. “I am so grateful, but at this point even with all of my gratitude I’m terrified.”
CeeCee said when her subsidy runs out she might have to pack up whatever belongings she and her son have, and bring him to his grandmother’s house where only he will be able to stay.
But if she is lucky, her subsidy will be extended but it is unlikely.
“I know that a Home Base extension or voucher is highly unlikely given the current funding situation…but I also know that it’s not impossible,” said CeeCee, “I know that there are people who make decisions around what’s going to happen to me all the time. I hope that some of those people are listening to me today and if you are I thank you for taking the time.”