Housing Connector partners with landlords around King County, Pierce County, and Denver, Colorado, to reduce screening criteria to help individuals get into homes where they might have had barriers getting into traditional housing before, explained Rutherford.
“If an individual comes to me and they are looking for a home, I will typically find out their housing history and some general screening questions about employment, income, and credit history,” she said. “If an individual seems responsible and that they would be fairly easy to move into housing, but just have some barriers, then I know that they would be a good fit.”
At any given time, Rutherford has 25 to 30 clients that she thinks, based on her screening questions and experience, would be a good match for the program.
One individual who contacted her and was a good fit was Nicholas Munro.
“I sent Tisza an email, she got back to me, and then we sat down, and I explained my situation and what I needed assistance with,” said Munro. He had narrowed down his needs to just housing.
“I'm not addicted to anything. I don't need a rehab program or job training,” Munro told Rutherford.
“I was working at the time and really it was just getting into an apartment, which seemed almost impossible,” he said.
"Housing provides me security and privacy."
With Rutherford’s help, Munro was able to secure a home this past summer.
“I honestly had some serious doubt to begin with because most people can't do much for your scenario,” said Munro. “But Tisza did 110% of the work. She found the apartment, handled the leasing process, and I just needed to sit down, sign, and initial.”
Now in his new home, Munro appreciates some basics that many take for granted – running water, hot water, a refrigerator, and a door.
“Housing provides me security and privacy,” said Munro. “Somewhere where you can just sit in silence or process your emotions. It's hard to do that in public sometimes. Also, it gives me easy access to Internet and got me out of the weather. It’s a lot of stuff that you need to function at a basic level.”
When asked what he’d say to others who are experiencing homelessness in the area, he said, “Reach out. The sooner you reach out, the sooner you can get help. If you never reach out, you're going to continue to slip through the cracks and things are going to look more and more hopeless.”