Will’s Story: Finding stable housing with help from Avivo

“I was stuck there for a minute,” says Will, reflecting on a time he was homeless and wondering what to do next. Now, Will is a success story through an Avivo program that helps move individuals who have experienced homelessness, and then lived in supportive housing, to more independent living.

“I’d lost my dad, lost my apartment, and got into a car accident and lost my car,” says Will. “Everything went downhill from there… and I became homeless.”

“I’d lost my dad, lost my apartment, and got into a car accident and lost my car,” says Will. “Everything went downhill from there… and I became homeless.”

Will found short-term, emergency housing, at a shelter. From there he moved into a single-room occupancy apartment at Catholic Charities’ Higher Ground Minneapolis, where Will was referred to Avivo for help transitioning into stable housing. Avivo’s program, in partnership with Hearth Connection, has proven to be a successful step in helping individuals who are formerly homeless secure long-term housing stability.

“We’ve seen great results for program members who have lived in supportive housing and are ready to live more independently,” says program manager Jennifer Fey. “The program’s outcomes are impressive. Nearly 70 percent of our participants have retained housing for two years or longer.”

“Will was easy to house,” says Lorraine, one of Avivo’s housing case managers. She works with Will to help him with important paperwork, and checks in regularly on his overall wellness. “His move to Avivo’s program opened up a supportive housing spot for someone in need of more intensive support.”

“I’m excited. I feel proud. I have more freedom,” Will shares.

Will is now living in a Minneapolis apartment with his three cats Snowy, Codo, and Podo. He’s lived there for two years. “Lorraine has helped a lot,” says Will. “If I need something, she’s there.”

Will appreciates how much finding housing and moving toward more independence has helped improve his life. “I’m excited. I feel proud. I have more freedom,” he shares.

As he continues his path forward, Will’s also aware of how his own progress and move toward independence will help others. “It’ll open the door for another person to get help at Avivo. That makes me happy.”

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