DENVER (CBS4) – Colorado is among the Top 10 housing markets in the country. Vacancy rates are low, rents are high, and for many it’s difficult to find a place to call home.
CBS4 first reported on Lisa Fisher at the beginning of September. She and her three children had been living in their car for weeks. Fisher qualified and was approved for financial housing help through a transitional housing program called Stride. Fisher has a voucher for $1,600 a month that she could use to rent a home. She looked for nearly 90 days and couldn’t find a place big enough to accommodate her family or a landlord who would take the voucher.
“So there was probably a time when you thought this is never going to get better?” CBS4’s Britt Moreno asked Fisher.
“Every day I thought it wasn’t going to get better. Or every night when we would lay down and go to sleep and the kids would be asleep and I would be crying. But I never gave up hope,” Fisher replied.
“How does it feel to say, ‘This is my living room,’” Moreno asked Fisher.
“It feels beyond wonderful … to even know that I have a living room,” Fisher responded.
After Fisher’s story aired on CBS4 a landlord contacted Stride offering to rent her a home. The landlord agreed to take less than market value for the rental just to get Fisher and her children a place to live.
“I finally have a place to relax and do homework peacefully,” said Sajied with a laugh.
The 15-year-old has his own room and is surrounded by his own things again. He’s looking forward to inviting his friends over and celebrating his 16th birthday with a party — none of which he’s been able to do for the last 10 months.
“I’m pretty happy. This is fantastic,” Sajied told CBS4.
He’s not the only one who’s happy. The change in 9-year-old Jilisa is easy to see. She also has her own room, the first time in her life that she hasn’t had to share a room with her sister.
“I’m happy and proud that we have our own house now,” Jilisa told CBS4.
Now that the family has a stable home they’re eager to start improving their finances. Sajied is talking about getting a job. Lisa will be working with case managers at Stride for the next two years.
“The ultimate goal here is to get off the food stamps, not have welfare, get out of the system completely, and stand on my own two feet. And that’s what I want to teach my children — stand on your own two feet,” Fisher told CBS4.
Beyond just standing on her own two feet, Fisher wants to become an activist for homeless families, working to change some of the barriers she faced while living on the street.
Libby Smith is a Special Projects Producer at CBS4. If you have a story you’d like to tell CBS4 about, call 303-863-TIPS (8477) or visit the News Tips section.