Partner Profile: Hope Center at Pullen

Lotus Campaign is not a social service organization. Instead, we partner with organizations in the communities in which we work to make sure the residents of our program receive the specialized, long-term support to stay healthy and housed. One of our latest partners in Raleigh is the Hope Center at Pullen. This nonprofit empowers emerging adults who are transitioning out of foster care in Wake County with the support and connections needed for a safe and stable adulthood. See below why they are a proud part of our Landlord Participation Program.

How does the Landlord Participation Program differ from what you have seen in your sector? Why is it important and needed, in your opinion?

The Landlord Participation Program offers something new to our sector – it offers a bridge from property owners to our youth who desperately need safe, affordable housing options in their community. We’re grateful to partner with an organization that is fluent in the language spoken by landlords and property management companies. The LPP works to break down barriers that our young clients often experience in the housing market. By waiving criteria like credit and rental history checks, our young clients can finally be first-time renters. Recognizing and addressing these barriers is necessary in the fight for equitable housing, especially for youth aging out of the foster care system.

How has Lotus helped make the Hope Center for Pullen’s impact more impactful or made your job easier?

Through the LPP, we have successfully housed two young women who were homeless in Wake County. Housing continues to be the most pressing issue for our young people. With safe, stable housing, our youth can finally focus on the goals that transform their lives from surviving to thriving. Lotus has made our jobs easier by partnering with two property management companies that offer low barrier housing to our clients in Wake County. Serving as a mediator within the housing market, Lotus allows The Hope Center at Pullen to focus on in-depth wrap around services for our youth.

What do you hope to see through the evolution of this partnership with Lotus?

The Hope Center at Pullen truly values its partnership with Lotus. We envision a world where every young person has access to safe, affordable housing. We hope to grow this partnership and connect with new properties throughout Wake County. We hope our youth are humanized, empowered, and uplifted through this evolution and that they gain valuable life experience that sets them up for successful adulthoods.

What’s something you feel like the general public does not understand about homelessness?  

The most important thing to understand about homelessness is that it is not a personal moral failure. Rising rents and strict eligibility criteria for housing make it incredibly difficult for our youth to enter the housing market as first-time renters. Our young people experience instability through multiple placements during their time in care, making it hard to complete high school or to build a social support system and foundation for adulthood. Once they turn 18, they are often forced out on their own. An average of 1 out of every 4 youth in foster care will become homeless within 4 years of aging out of foster care. Homelessness is not an individual problem – it is a community issue that requires an all-hands-on-deck approach.

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