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By ‘paying himself rent,’ Mr. Sawyer secures his future

William Sawyer and his seven-year-old son moved from California to Louisville to start a new life, leaving behind a tumultuous relationship with his son’s mother. He had friends and family in Louisville he thought would help him get back on his feet, but he found rebuilding his life to be a little tougher than he anticipated. He and his son ended up in an emergency shelter.

Referred to the ESG Rapid Rehousing program (Emergency Solutions Grants), he began working with Family Stabilization Program Case Manager Danielle Bell. Since Rapid Rehousing is a time-limited program, she worked with Mr. Sawyer to help him become self-sufficient before the program ended.

The small family moved into a new apartment and Danielle asked Mr. Sawyer if he could “pay himself rent,” pretend he was paying full rent that the Rapid rehousing program was covering, but instead of actually paying it, put the equivalent amount into savings. He was motivated by the idea, which he said made sense.

By the second month of the program, Mr. Sawyer was able to save $800 and saw future home ownership as a realistic goal. Danielle is now helping Mr. Sawyer improve his credit and is confident that by the time he graduates in a few months, he will be stably housed and on his way to a bright future for his family.

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