Most people associate motels with vacations or traveling for business. For Lydia and George Flores, a rundown motel on the edge of Prescott, Ariz., was their home until it foreclosed in winter.
The Flores struggled to find an affordable place to live, but due to their low income and pets, they couldn't find one. George worked as a day laborer when he could find work and Lydia was on medical leave from her job as a janitor at a local college. After facing the option of being homeless in the freezing temperatures, the Flores contacted Catholic Charities to see if they could qualify for help.
“People who come to us have really exhausted all of their other options,” said Milissa Koel, Catholic Charities case manager. "We help them to find hope again."
The Flores met with Koel to assess their situation and look at options for getting them into a new home. Koel worked with them to find suitable living arrangements with rent that was below 35 percent of their gross pay. They also received three months of rent and deposits, help setting up utilities and a moving truck.
“After several weeks of trying to find housing, I found a private landlord willing to work with us,” said Koel. “The clients loved the place and the landlord was grateful to get three-months rent plus deposit.”
Their new place is a freshly painted mobile home with a fenced yard. The big front porch and abundant trees provide shade for their two little Chihuahuas. Their new home is a far cry from the dilapidated living conditions of the motel.
"Having the rent paid for a few months will allow Lydia to heal from her injuries and return to work when she’s released to go back," said Koel.
The Flores family not only found a new home, but one they will be able to live in for years to come.
Clients who come to Catholic Charities for help find rich resources that they can continue to use in the future.
“We walk through this process with them and do what we can to give the clients a fresh start by giving them new skills," said Koel.
Koel will follow-up with the Flores to see how life is going in their new home. She'll also encourage them to take financial classes or individualized financial counseling. Through this education, the Flores family will learn new ways to manage their money and prepare for any future emergencies.
You can learn more about how Catholic Charities helps the homeless or become a monthly giver to support our work in preventing men and women from living on the streets.