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Individuals and families connect with EOCP at a point in their journey when they are seeking not just housing support, but a transformation in their lives. At EOCP, we meet individuals and families where they are, and stick with them as they move through the arduous yet impactful steps towards change.
Cameron, a young father to a three-year-old daughter, came to EOCP’s young adult rapid re-housing program during the COVID-19 pandemic, seeking sustainable next steps for him and his child. When he first connected with EOCP, he was couch-surfing and hopping houses, looking for a sense of stability and empowerment as a parent and community member. With his dedicated EOCP Case Manager, Rob, he began the process of identifying a secure, appropriate, and permanent housing option. After initially finding a stable room with the support of EOCP, Cameron and his daughter are now living in a permanent housing placement — a one-bedroom apartment in Hayward!
Beyond just the search and housing placement process, Cameron’s engagement with the opportunities of EOCP’s young adult program also enabled him to receive a rental subsidy, which will assist in his sustainability. He’s now working at an Amazon warehouse, saving money and building the stepping stones for a resilient and thriving future for his family.
From the start, Cameron was able to see how EOCP’s program was a doorway to a new stage of life. He is on his way to completing the program next year, and he is staying very diligent about making the most of the resources that EOCP offers. Cameron stays in frequent touch with Rob, building knowledge and skills about how to improve himself and his daughter’s life, as well as their bond together as parent and child.
Cameron’s orientation to learning and growth, combined with the belief and dedication of EOCP’s team, have granted a new beginning for this family.
When we most recently connected with Shalamar and her two children in 2019, she was in a moment of frustration, and in need of shelter. She had previously been placed in permanent housing, but had encountered personal challenges in maintaining her rent subsidy. Shalamar had been experiencing the ins and outs of the administrative barriers to finding reliable housing, and she was tired. She knew that she needed help.
Shalamar had moved through EOCP’s program a few years prior. At EOCP, we know that big change takes time, and we show up for all individuals and families, no matter where they’re at in their process. This time, Shalamar was ready, fired up, and open-minded to the core message we coach people towards at EOCP: We’ll provide the tools and scaffolding, but the transformation you seek comes from your individual efforts and commitment to being your own inner resource.
Taking the reins of success for herself and her young children, Shalamar dove into the housing search and selection process, all while living in a temporary, hotel-based shelter provided by EOCP. She researched landlords, units, and areas alongside her EOCP Case Manager, Tambra, who ensured she had the financial assistance she needed, and advocated for her at crucial points. Shalamar took on a security job and picked up the working hours that would keep her family in their home.
It’s been an incredible journey to her current stage. Shalamar just moved into a three-bedroom house supported by a subsidy from Oakland Housing Authority, in an area where her children will still continue in the same schools. Securing the subsidy was made possible by Shalamar’s dedication to deeply understanding every phase of the process and potential barriers to tenancy — she anticipated challenges and faced them head on! She truly partnered with Tambra to clarify, learn, and empower herself. She didn’t miss a beat, and was so elated to learn about her OHA subsidy — not only for the permanent home it reassured, but because she knew she had seen herself through the process.
The path to securing housing for her and her family was just the spark plug for Shalamar’s transformation. Her experiences have propelled her into community leadership and activism. Seeing the need for other mothers in Oakland to connect with resources and each other, she has mobilized people through texts and email to see and utilize the support that EOCP offers, even proactively setting up a food and clothing donation drive on-site. With bold, entrepreneurial spirit, Shalamar is manifesting her dreams — she started doing stand-up comedy, performing in local clubs and finding momentum. Shalamar has moved from being a client to an embodiment of EOCP’s mission, demonstrating the possibilities that exist.