Tis the Season for Transitioning

Amikas Update

Dear Friends,

While you put the finishing touches on your Holiday shopping, perhaps you can make a gift to Amikas too. We really need your help to continue in our work.

When we opened Amikas House as a transitional home, our goal was to help women get through a difficult time and get stabilized so they could move on to permanent housing. What we have now is a full house of incredible women who struggle to pay the $300 - $400 rent we charge them to cover our costs. There's still no permanent housing that they can afford. If our residents, like those in other transitional housing programs, can’t move on, then Amikas House will have to do the transitioning - becoming a permanent housing solution. It’s called “transition-in-place”.

Why isn’t transitional housing working?
The formula used to be that families should spend no more than 30% of their income on housing (rent or mortgage payments). That’s not anywhere near reality for many families. Someone lucky enough to have a full-time job, making $10 an hour, would need to find a place for $420 per month, to go by that 30% formula. We all know that doesn't exist. And if you are only making minimum wage… or surviving on disability benefits… or have a past eviction or bad credit… or a bunch of kids… there simply is nowhere in San Diego you can afford to live!

So there is no realistic exit plan from transitional housing. HUD thinks the way to solve that problem is to de-fund transitional housing! So we have even fewer places for the poor to go. We have a link on our new Amikas website to a recent article in CityBeat that explains the quagmire in more detail: http://amikas.org/article/transitional-housing-faces-uncertain-future

If we make Amikas House permanent affordable housing, what do we do about the women who call Amikas every day looking for housing? Moms living in their cars with their kids – cars that often aren’t running because they can’t afford the repairs… Or the ladies who don’t have cars, who sleep in public places during the day so they can stay awake all night when it’s too dangerous to let your guard down? What can we offer them?

With your help, we can make this work
Amikas has been pursuing the idea of shared rentals since our inception, and now we have an owner willing to work with us – starting with two small houses in Crowne Point. We have to seize the opportunity, but we need the luxury of time to screen our applicants to find women and families we can count on to pay the very low rent and keep up the property. We need to pay the first month’s rent $2600 for the two houses and furnish them so our qualified families can move in.

Shared housing, done right, is one solution to affordable housing. We can rent each of these houses to two women for $715 p/mo each, including utilities. We can make this happen! With your help, we won’t let this opportunity slip away.

Amikas is a California, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), public benefit organization. Donations to Amikas are deductible for tax purposes. You can mail a check directly to Amikas, PO Box 711194, San Diego, CA 92171-1194

Thank you for all you do to help our less fortunate neighbors.

Jeeni Criscenzo
Executive Director, Amikas

Amikas House provides transitional housing and support for homeless women and their children, giving preference to our veteran women. The Amikas AD-UP program matches very low income women and children for shared rental housing.