When 360 Communities Housing Support Worker Marissa first met Meredith in 2015, she had just moved into Dakota Woodlands homeless shelter with her two sons. Meredith was able to find housing and obtain a 24-month housing subsidy through Dakota County, moving herself and her sons into a townhome in Lakeville. Having her rent subsidized for this amount of time gave her an opportunity to increase her income, working with 360 Communities to become self-sufficient.

Marissa utilized the Self-Sufficiency Matrix, a measurement tool 360 Communities uses to determine areas of crisis in a client’s life, identify where 360 Communities could best support clients, and establish and track progress toward self-sufficiency goals. Meredith’s score at that time identified multiple areas of crisis in her life. She had recently finalized a divorce from her husband, and she was dealing with mental health and past chemical dependency issues. She had been driving uninsured and lost her license, and eventually, her vehicle.

Marissa helped Meredith eliminate many barriers to success through goal planning and stabilizing supports. Meredith was able to access holiday gifts through 360 Communities Armful of Love, a turkey basket for Thanksgiving, and school supplies and winter coats for her sons. Marissa helped her with her Section 8 housing paperwork and her financial aid application for college.

Meredith was able to get her license reinstated and now has the ability to pay for insurance. She’s currently saving for a vehicle. Because Meredith’s 24-month rent subsidy is coming to an end, Marissa revisited the Self-Sufficiency Matrix to identify where Meredith’s life has improved. She increased her score in almost all goal-area domains to where she is stable and thriving! Meredith identified the goal of becoming a licensed drug and addiction counselor. She is now enrolled in college and has a few semesters remaining before she achieves this goal. She is excited to one day be able to help her own clients get through their personal barriers and become self-sufficient.