As with all our programs, the St. Stephen’s Housing Initiative begins with need, and ends in hope. The need that drives our newest program is one that we noticed while working with our Citizenship and Mentoring programs. Many newly arrived immigrants and refugees do not have a firm grasp of the rights and responsibilities of tenants and of their landlords in the United States. In many cases, this has unfortunately led to refugees and immigrants being taken advantage of, or not understanding what responsibilities they need to meet to maintain a good relationship with their landlord.
The St. Stephen’s Housing Initiative is designed and envisioned as a three-year program that first settles refugee and immigrant families, and then prepares them for greater independence through mentoring and assistance. Eventually, the families will move onto to renting an apartment or buying a home of their own, and the program will be ready to assist the next available family.