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Whitaker House helps single moms escape homelessness

Ms. Rodgers in front of the Whitaker House

Volunteers make it possible for agencies such as Passage Home to carry-out much-needed programs and services.

Volunteers volunteer for a variety of reasons. For some, it is a chance to get involved or give back to their community; for others, it is a way to spend their extra time and resources. No matter the motivation, what unites our volunteers is their impact on our agency and the lives of our clients.

The Young Men’s Service League (YMSL) helped us transform an office annex into a home for two families. Moms and sons worked together to paint, fix, organize, and clean. The YMSL also furnished and decorated the home’s bedrooms--creating the perfect place for our families in transition to permanent housing.

The project spanned two weekends and a total of 716 hours.

Today, the Whitaker House is occupied by two families working with Passage Home to achieve self-sufficiency and find a permanent home.

Due to financial hardships caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Ms. Rodgers has been enrolled with Passage Home since October 10, 2020 and is our first Whitaker House tenant.

Since the start of the pandemic, Ms. Rodgers lost her job and has struggled to afford life’s necessities. Displaced from her apartment and her and her 3-year-old son became homeless.

With few options, Ms. Rodgers reached out to Passage Home in seek of services. Working with a Passage Home case manager, Ms. Rodgers secured shelter at a family-friendly hotel in Raleigh. This was a short-term housing solution, but could not replace the feeling of having safe and stable home.

For a year, Ms. Rodgers and her son did everything to make the hotel a home, while working with Passage Home case managers to find permanency through resource location, workforce training, and personal and financial improvement.

In April of 2022, Ms. Rogers was placed at the Passage Home Whitaker House, a home for single parents designed to provide temporary housing in a safe and comfortable housing environment. At the Whitaker House, tenants have access to their own private space, full kitchen, and living area with other amenities provided by donors and volunteers.

Since moving into the home, Ms. Rodgers successfully gained permeant employment as a Personal Care Aide and will soon enroll in a Certified Nursing Assistance course with Passage Home’s Workforce Development. Ms. Rodgers also received support with nutrition, clothing, and childcare. Ms. Rodger’s son is now doing better than ever, and has tools and support to ensure his academic and emotional success.

The second tenant of the Whitaker house, Erika, began working with Passage Home after fleeing domestic violence. Erika and her 5-year-old daughter came to the agency with little support from family and unaware of resources available to her. Despite not having this support systems in place, Erika remained determined and hopeful. Inspired by her enthusiasm, Erika’s case manager worked with her to find stable housing and employment.

Erika’s laughter and joy now fill the halls of the Whitaker House and, with the help of her case manager, she is on her way to getting stable employment. Her daughter is currently enrolled in our youth program (REACH) and she is enrolled in our Workforce Development program, receiving childcare support and assistance in obtaining her Nursing Assistant credentials.

Our clients and staff thank our volunteers for their continued support. Your selfless commitment to continue with Passage Home as a volunteer is incredible.

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