Connie Swain is the C-Rent Program Director. Connie has worked tirelessly over the last year to support families and build the C-Rent team. She is excited to continue growing the program to further assist families in stabilization and provide support of all kinds, from financial literacy to reaching their education goals.
Since the earliest days of the pandemic, San Francisco families experienced unprecedented job loss and housing instability. Although eviction moratoriums were eventually enacted in order to provide a barrier to housing loss, many families remained at-risk for imminent homelessness. Long before the pandemic, we provided rental assistant through our Rental Assistance Project (RAP), but the COVID crisis and overwhelming influx of families seeking rental support prompted us to pivot to a standalone rental assistance program.
Compass C-Rent was carved out in 2021 to better serve the unprecedented number of families coming through our doors at risk of eviction. Being on the verge of homelessness is a volatile and terrifying experience, the traumatic impacts of homelessness are well known, and once a family loses their housing unit, it is extremely difficult to bounce back. First and foremost, C-Rent helps vulnerable families to avoid becoming homeless in the first place. The program provides client families with back rent and assistance with utility payments and moving expenses, as well as case management to address the factors contributing to their vulnerability.
Dedicated case managers help families work on goals around financial independence, building credit and establishing savings. C-Rent’s Housing Search Coordinator offers housing application workshops, helping parents navigate the complexities of the low-income housing landscape, as well as workshops focused on reducing barriers to securing and maintaining stable housing.
For so many families, information surrounding state and citywide eviction moratoriums was confusing and constantly changing, making it difficult for our housed families to know the fate of their housing unit, day to day and month to month. Between April and June 2022, as the statewide moratorium sunset but the San Francisco moratorium had yet to be extended, families were left in confusion and in fear of eviction. All along, the C-Rent team helped many anxious families to wade through the confusion and navigate the system.
C-Rent’s small but might team helps to prevent homelessness before it happens, and we are excited to see these critical services continue to grow and expand as we help more and more at-risk families to avoid falling into homelessness.