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  • Writer's pictureFamily Promise Philadelphia

Maryanne’s Key to a New Beginning

A single mother of five, “Maryanne” grew up in foster care, moving around frequently and never

staying anywhere for long.

In 2021, pregnant with twins, she and her children were forced from from a home that License & Inspection deemed “unlivable.” She and her children entered two city shelters because her sons 12 and 13 could not be in the same shelter with the females.

After several weeks Maryanne could no longer tolerate the separation.

In May 2022 she left the shelter, pulled her family together and entered FPP’s non-congregate safe shelter program.

Wanting to break the pattern of insecurity and homelessness, she revealed her three goals:

become self-sufficient, locate stable housing for her family, and learn better financial management.

FPP’s alternative emergency shelter gave Maryanne a safe place to stabilize and regroup with her

family all together.

Case managers encouraged, supported, counseled and coached so she could claim entitlements,

save money, and get ready to transition to independent, hopefully stable housing.

Participation in six 3-hour “Keys to New Beginnings” learning sessions enabled Maryanne to know her rights and responsibilities as a tenant, and learn how to communicate with a landlord more effectively verbally and in writing.

Ready to exit the shelter program she faced higher security deposits as a result of a previous

eviction on her record.

FPP was able to help Maryanne reach her housing goal in two ways: with $5,200 toward her

relocation costs, and the availability of FPP’s Rental Risk Pool” to serve as a potential “backstop”

protecting landlord for up to 3 months should the tenant falter.

At the 90-day follow-up, mom shared that the family is doing well in the new home. She is working and staying connected to FPP through its women’s support group. She has paid her rent on time and used new skills and written tools from the Keys program to successfully negotiate removal of an incorrect charge from her utility account.

Maryanne has expressed her desire to share her journey with others at future Keys program



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