The Road Home

Working Together to End Homelessness

Despite both parents having steady jobs, the Dahl family couldn’t find housing…until one local landlord decided to take a chance on them.

The *Dahl family never expected the search for housing to be so difficult for them. After all, both the wife and husband had jobs and solid employment references. They soon found that because of their lack of a strong housing history, many landlords were unwilling to consider them. With no place to move into, the family ended up in a homeless shelter.

After contacting twelve landlords and not finding any prospects, their caseworker connected with David Gordon, a landlord in Madison who also owns several local restaurants including Wings Over Madison. David was open to giving the family a chance. “I met the family and they struck me as very hardworking. They needed a place to live and I needed tenants, so I felt this could be a mutually beneficial relationship,” David said. David was also glad to learn of their connection to The Road Home, United Way of Dane County and YWCA who he knew were very reputable organizations. “I was happy for a chance to give back,” David said. After four months of homelessness, the family is excited to be moving into their new place.

All across the country, low-income families and families without strong housing histories struggle to find housing. One of the challenges is that there is a shortage of low-income housing available. According to a report by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in Wisconsin there are only 28 affordable and available housing units per 100 extremely low-income renters. With such a tight housing market, landlords can afford to pass over families like the Dahls, leaving them without options. At The Road Home, we believe helping families find housing they can afford is not only good for these families, but good for our community. And we also believe that it takes a community to end family homelessness. Thank you for your support that enables families like the Dahls to find landlords to rent to families we serve.

*names have been changed to protect the family’s privacy