One Family’s Journey to Permanent Housing

Randi was a married mom with her own business, raising her 5 year old daughter, Abby, with her husband, Chris, who worked full-time in the union. Randi was a member of the PTA and Abby was in the Daisies. Everything looked great on the outside. No one knew that Randi was battling an opioid addiction. That changed in April 2015. Randi’s second daughter, Riley, was born testing positive for opiates. Child Protective Services immediately removed the children and charged her with neglect. Chris didn’t know his wife was abusing drugs but vowed to stand by her, as long as she got clean, so the children’s uncle assumed guardianship of the children. Chris’s salary couldn’t pay rent and they were evicted. Randi and Chris became homeless and ended up in CHI emergency housing. For months Randi went through stringent measures to regain custody of her kids. She attended outpatient treatment daily and became active in a 12-step program. They became a family again, under one roof, in CHI emergency housing in Wading River. They met Brittni, a CHI case manager, who worked with them to set goals, connect to services and complete housing applications. In September 2016, the Young family was accepted into CHI’s Family Transitional-to-Permanent Housing (TPH) in Coram. A year-long program, it is a stepping stone that prepares families for permanent housing. For the first time in over a year, the Young’s had a home with a kitchen. When they received multiple Thanksgiving dinners, Abby and Randi cooked the extra food, bought 75 Styrofoam containers and filled them with meals. They spent Thanksgiving Day as a family handing out meals to homeless people. In TPH, Randi and Chris met Jessie, a CHI case manager. She visited the family regularly, working on budgeting, setting up medical care, and listening to concerns. When permanent housing opened in CHI’s Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) in East Patchogue, Jessie helped the Young family make the house their new home. They moved in January 2017. Randi is over 2 1/2 years clean and speaks in institutions about her experience. She is a loving and attentive mother. Abby is a bright and well-adjusted third grader who loves to read and participate in Brownies. She has a full understanding of giving back because she knows what it’s like to not have anything. Riley is 2 1/2 years old and likes to clean dishes and play with toys. Chris continues to support his family and loves coming home to them each night. This will be their first Christmas decorating their home as a family of four. Randi and Chris continue to work with CHI case managers to ensure they maintain self-sufficiency and remain in permanent housing.