Last year, we profiled Maud’s House Program Manager Natasha Lindsay, who had recently stepped into her role. You can read her story here.
One year later, almost to the day, we spoke to her again about what she’s learned, her hopes for the program, and exciting news about increasing community support. “I came from a very idealistic perspective,” she says wryly, “so I’m constantly learning, and I appreciate the lessons that keep me motivated to find solutions. I’m open to hearing feedback and implementing ideas.”
Focusing on the day-to-day activities means struggling with the big picture and realizing how much progress has been made – both in herself and in the lives of the residents. A glimpse into the change she helped create came with a client who had recently moved on to permanent housing and returned to check in. “She told me that now that she has stability in housing, she can deal with super big issues because she has the space to deal with it. She used to hide behind hoodies and jeans, and she came in wearing a bright tank top, capri pants, and sandals. She had a calm face, and her skin even looked better.”
Currently, Maud’s House is home to 7 moms and 8 children. It’s a transitional shelter, with stays authorized up to 90 days. Snohomish County has supported this initiative with a grant for Rapid Rehousing, which is a process designed to help individuals and families exit homelessness and quickly return to permanent housing. This means families can cycle through the program at a more consistent rate. But far from being a stopgap measure or “flop house,” a stay at Maud’s House comes with emotional, educational, and practical support; resources and referrals; and life skills. Natasha’s plan is to provide new residents with an orientation, help with analyzing their budget and finances and finding a place to live, then providing a transitional period with a weekly program that could include parenting classes and learning to establish positive relationships.
Natasha still likes “being the bridge for people and identifying barriers and resources to overcome them. With some of the challenges in the current housing market, I have to be creative with solutions. Barriers are just opportunities for growth.”
We celebrate Natasha’s work and encourage the community to learn more and find ways to offer support by connecting with her at email@example.com.