Tenant Story – Alena

In 2013, Alena was homeless with her two young boys. She had made multiple applications to local landlords, but her past substance abuse problems and criminal history meant that every landlord turned her down.

After connecting with LLP, Alena saw a rental listing on Craigslist and sent an email to the landlord. "I was frustrated with searching and being rejected and thought the only way I can do this was just to lay it all out there. Here’s my challenges, but this is what I’ve done since — that I had gone to drug and alcohol treatment, I had gone back to school, and here’s the Landlord Liaison Project that’s willing to stand by me, and would you please give me a chance."

The impact on her life, and her family, has been enormous. Alena is deeply grateful to LLP and the landlord who took a chance on her. "Having a stable home changed everything. Now I’m in graduate school and my son’s going to go to college. We’re not stressed anymore, we’re happy, and that’s just been a huge thing for us."

Tenant Story – Melinda

Melinda lived in Shoreline with her two children, Rebbecca and Malachi, before they fled from domestic violence and became homeless. For a year, their family lived in a series of emergency shelters. Although Melinda worked part-time, she was unable to find housing that she could afford.

With help from LLP, Melinda finally moved into a rental home in South Seattle, where she now lives with her two children and 7-year-old granddaughter.

Having a stable home makes it easier for her children to concentrate on school. Even though they commute from South Seattle to Shoreline, both are earning A's in their classes. 14-year-old Malachi is on the basketball team, while 16-year-old Rebecca studies Japanese and hopes to travel to Japan someday.

Melinda is currently working as a peer counselor at a mental health organization and hopes to re-open a catering and food truck business that she ran before their family became homeless.

Landlord Story – Raj

In his first year as a landlord, Raj had never approved a tenant with a criminal history or past substance abuse issues. Then he met Alena, a homeless mother with two young boys, and learned about LLP.

"I thought about it, Googled the Landlord Liaison Project, and said OK, let’s meet and talk about it. I just wanted to try it out,” he said.

Raj has not regretted his decision to take a chance on Alena. "When I met you, I didn’t see anything that would stop us from moving forward. I've had really good experiences with you — you’re communicative, you pay rent on time; it makes my job easier.”

Partnering with LLP has been a rewarding experience for Raj, and is one that he recommends to others. “I have definitely seen progress in her life, she has come a long way. You know, just taking that chance for a landlord, sometimes is worth it.”

Tenant Story – Jamie

Jaime had been released from jail not long before she had her son, Owen. After his birth, she successfully completed intensive drug treatment, landed an internship through the Community Jobs program, and earned a professional certificate from Seattle Vocational Institute.

Yet her criminal background and credit history made finding an apartment of her own seem like an impossible task. Then her case manager at the Parent Child Assistance Program connected Jaime with LLP.

After meeting with several landlords, Jaime found what she was looking for, and got assistance from LLP with the application and administrative fees. With stable housing, Jaime has maintained sobriety and enrolled in classes at Highline College, where she hopes to earn an associate's degree in chemical dependency and find a job at a nearby recovery center.