At the start of 2020, we had 1,029 homes under construction across nine communities in three countries. But COVID-19 forced us to pause every international project for a few months.
While we couldn’t build homes, we could still advance our mission of pioneering solutions to end global homelessness. With unemployment rates skyrocketing week-by-week, we found rent relief to be the most efficient way to prevent homelessness and help families stay safe in their homes.
We also discovered how much you wanted to help your neighbors in need. So, we built the Neighborhood, our monthly giving program, and you showed up in a huge way that made an impact to be proud of.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD’S IMPACT
Families who received three months of rent support:
Individuals safely housed:
HOW AND WHO THE NEIGHBORHOOD HELPED
With the help of local partners, we leveraged Felix, our data collection tool, to survey communities in the Atlanta Metro and Bay Area to accurately assess the livelihood of families affected by COVID-19. We also ran an analysis of different economic and policy indicators to identify gaps in government assistance programs. The data allowed us to discover the most vulnerable populations.
The initiative supported low-income families who were at the greatest risk of losing their homes within the first few months of COVID-19. These families either lost income due to COVID-19, were not eligible for government assistance or service, were not protected by eviction freezes, or at risk due to their legal or refugee status.
Before the pandemic, 93% of these families were rental cost-burdened, meaning they spent more than 30% of their income on rent.
Since February, these families have experienced an average monthly income loss of 84%. Families needed support, and they needed it fast.
Felix allowed families to qualify for rental assistance at an average time of 29 minutes. We quickly measured income changes, emotional health, family size, rent rates, and government assistance eligibility. A fast, simple application process allowed families to receive immediate support, and donors make an instantaneous impact.
The report shows 88% of families stated rent as their largest and most financially stressful expense each month.
But as the Neighborhood provided support, you’ll see in the report a decrease in families’ anxiety and an increase in hope for the future.
HOW YOU CAN HELP NOW
We built the Neighborhood because you wanted to help some of the world’s most vulnerable families experience home. Our first project was domestic rent relief, but homelessness is a global problem. This is why our next community goal is to fund 180 new homes in Nacajuca, Mexico.
These families currently have a monthly median income of $76, with some of them making as little as $36. Will you help move them into a safe home by joining the Neighborhood? You can learn more about this community and support a family here.