By Melissa Garcia
DENVER (CBS4)– A major cut in federal funding may soon put more than 100 Denver metro area families out on the streets.
The sudden cut of more than $2 million will affect three local housing programs. People who are receiving rent assistance are now searching for new places to live, as their assistance only covers their rent through the end of May.
CBS4’s Melissa Garcia talked with one single mother of three children who is in the now defunded program. The program had been paying a rent voucher each month to her landlord.
Lisa Fisher said that it feels like just when she and her children got back on their feet, the rug was pulled out from under them.
“I was so happy to have a roof finally over our head, a place to call home,” said Fisher.
She received the devastating news by phone on Wednesday that cuts to Housing and Urban Development funding may force her family out onto the streets again.
Just seven months into a two year program, the non-profit organization Stride that helps her pay rent was suddenly de-funded.
Fisher and more than 100 other families have until the end of the month to figure out how to either pay their full rent or put a new roof over their heads.
“To finally have my head above water, just to sink, or feel like I’m sinking again is horrible,” said Fisher.
CBS4 first met Fisher in August of 2015 when she and her three children were living out of their car. The family was homeless for nearly a year.
Since moving into a four-bedroom home in October 2015, Fisher secured a full-time job in the healthcare field and was able to pay off her car.
Her children, now 16, 14, and 10, are doing much better in school and their spirits have greatly improved.
Fisher is one of many Denver area families whose stability is now in jeopardy.
“We weren’t prepared for this,” said Iesha Wood, a mother of four kids.
Wood and her children were homeless for a year before getting into the Stride program.
She said the funding cut to their housing had left them nowhere to turn, yet she felt determined not to repeat the cycle of homelessness.
“Me and my kids will not go back to a shelter,” said Wood.
Fisher also hopes to find a way to keep her family from losing their home.
“It’s something we’ve strived for, (that) we worked hard to get. And to have it feel like it’s just taken away is painful,” said Fisher.
Even at a price under market value, Fisher’s rent is $1,550 a month.
Working full time, she earns less than $1,200 a month.
Gary Sanford, Executive Director of the Metro Denver Homeless Initiative said that MDHI was working to try to bridge funding from other sources, in an effort to keep the some 200 children who are affected from becoming homeless again.
Fisher has a GoFundMe account to help cover costs.