Peggy Bailey and Steve Berg Also Explain the Importance of the Congressional Reception Happening Today!
Michelle Griffith, along with thirteen others, will share her story of homelessness with elected officials and advocates from across New Jersey at the Congressional Reception. Today we will let elected officials and policymakers know that Opportunity Starts at Home!
Michelle lives in Toms River, New Jersey, and is a constituent of US Representative Andy Kim (D-NJ-3).
Michelle’s experience with homelessness began when she was living in New York. During this time, Michelle never received the family support system she needed. She always liked having a job, but her health often prevented her from being able to work which caused her to need to file for disability insurance. Michelle lost her home as a result of not being able to work. Not having a home meant that she and her dog were left to sleep in her car or bounce from place to place looking for a roof over her head.
After Hurricane Sandy and its effects, Michelle decided to move to New Jersey and applied for a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. After not being able to find housing services and after not hearing an update regarding the housing choice voucher, Michelle moved again. She made the move to North Carolina, where it was much cheaper.
While in North Carolina, Michelle was notified that she received a Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher in New Jersey. With excitement, she made the move back to New Jersey after hearing the great news. However, Michelle could not find an apartment that would accept her voucher. Michelle found herself once again living in her car. After lots of rejection and searching, Michelle finally found one apartment that would accept her voucher and assistance through The HOPE Center. She now lives in that apartment with her dog.
Michelle expresses disappointment about the limited resources designated for single people without children. She says that the way others have treated her has had a significant impact on her and says that her health suffered during her time spent without a home.
Although she does not have much free time, she enjoys planning for her future and spending time with her Yorkshire Terrier named Prince Milo. She describes herself as a survivor of homelessness, saying that she is not the same person that she once was.
Michelle is excited to speak this Wednesday at the 2019 Congressional Reception in Washington, DC. Support Michelle by sharing her story, advocating for the 2019 Federal Policy Priorities or letting elected officials know that Housing is a Right!
Also, below are videos from Peggy Bailey of Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, and Steve Berg of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, explaining the importance of the Congressional Reception happening today!