Mission First Resident to Speak at Congressional Reception

Son and Father Thankful for Help Received from Mission First

Shreyans Kumar H. Desai from Edison, New Jersey is a constituent of Representative Frank Pallone who has received help from Mission First. Shreyans Kumar prior worked in the Financial Markets as an Options and Currencies Trader and is excited to speak to his elected officials at this year’s Congressional Reception.

Due to a car accident that he is still recovering from, Shreyans Kumar was unable to continue working with his partners at their financial firm. Neither Shreyans Kumar nor his family could afford to pay the mortgage on his father’s home. Prior to their foreclosure date, their mortgage company forcefully entered their home and severely damaged their property.

The Health Department condemned their home as unlivable and Shreyans Kumar and his family were forced to vacate the property immediately. The Desai family was able to live with a relative in his one bedroom apartment for a short time and then ultimately was forced to move out, due to disputes.

On August 9, 2016 Shreyans Kumar and his father, Harshad Hiralal Desai, slept in their car, and the next day they reached out to Middlesex County Board of Social Services for emergency relief. They were immediately put into motel placement where they were forced to stay for the next 15 months.

During those 15 months, they submitted 211 affordable housing applications, totaling around $500 in shipping fees. From the 211 applications they submitted, they only heard back from one housing provider who ultimately denied them because of his father’s poor credit. This provider also required that households have an income $42,000 to pay for the $700/month rent.

Shortly after, Shreyans Kumar and his family were referred to Mission First Housing Group’s Amandla Crossing Permanent Supportive Housing by the Middlesex County Coordinated Assessment System. Shreyans Kumar’s father states that it is “God’s blessings and sincere prayers that they are even available” in reference to Mission First.

Mission First was able to find the Desai family a home back in Edison within three months of working with them. The Desai household loves their new home as they are near a Hindu Temple, near Middlesex County College, and got to move back to their hometown.

Shreyans Kumar would like to urge his representatives to lower credit and income requirements for affordable housing. He explains, “The current income requirements are not practical. We need more affordable housing, obviously the demand is there. Moreover, applicant fees put an undue burden and strain onthe low-incomehouseholds seeking affordable housing.”

Similarly, he would also want affordable housing providers not to be prejudicial towards Social Security Income Beneficiaries such as, Social Security Retirement Benefits, Survivor Benefits, and Disability Benefits (SSI and SSDI),  as they “are forcing an individual out of retirement or disability to work, even though they may not be able to work.”

Shreyans Kumar would also like to have more opportunities for people attempting to rebuild their lives after coming out of homelessness. He states that many of the people he knows that rely on affordable housing do not even have their own cars for reliable transportation to work. “How are we supposed to restart our lives?” he asks.

Shreyans Kumar and his family are extremely grateful for the support of Middlesex County Board of Social Services for the 15 months emergency housing placement.

Shreyans Kumar will be sharing his story at this year’s Congressional Reception.

Attendees at the 2018 Congressional Reception will have the opportunity to hear from impact speakers’ experiences with homelessness and their requests from their elected officials. This year the reception will be held on July 25 in Washington D.C. at the Dirksen Auditorium.

“Mission First Housing Group’s mission is to develop and manage affordable, safe and sustainable homes for people in need, with a focus on the vulnerable. We ensure our residents have access to resources to help them live independently. We deliver housing that provides long-term benefits to residents and neighborhoods, alike.”

If you are passionate about providing affordable housing in New Jersey, you should attend the July 25th, a Congressional Reception will be held at the Dirksen Senate Auditorium in Washington D.C. This event will allow New Jersey residents who are working poor, below the poverty line and or impacted by homelessness to urge their elected officials in Washington to make No Cuts to Housing and remind them that Opportunity Starts at Home.

We know that by joining together and amplifying our voices, we can have an impact on the decisions that are made in Washington DC. Join Monarch Housing Associates and our 35 partners from New Jersey to make the case that homelessness is a solvable problem. The federal government must be a full partner in ensuring an adequate breadth of services are available to prevent children, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of our neighbors in NJ from experiencing the homelessness.

Register today to attend the Congressional Reception. Everyone needs to register even if you are traveling on your own.

Click here for more information about the Congressional Reception.

You can also follow @OppStartsatHome in order to learn more about the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Opportunity Starts at Home Campaign.

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