Resident Empowerment Program (REP)
Our Resident Empowerment Program carries on Hope Solutions’ mission of ending cycles of poverty by addressing the root causes of poverty. The Resident Empowerment Program conveys our mission, vision, and values by building trust in the community, strengthening civic engagement, and encouraging community members to share their lived experiences and exercise their democratic right to vote, participate and be involved in local policy concerns, assemble, and express your views through peaceful protest.
Resident Empowerment Program (REP) Mission: The REP Program empowers affordable housing residents and community members at large to advocate for the creation and retention of affordable housing and supportive services by rising and equipping new leaders to help with the advocacy efforts by providing public speaking and leadership skills needed to speak truth to power.
Partnership for the Bay's Future Breakthrough Grant
“I use my REP platform to advocate for legislation that advances affordable housing and support the narrative shift that values housing vouchers and their holders.”
“When I first got my Section 8 Voucher, I waited only three months to receive my voucher. It wasn’t hard to find housing, but in the early 2000s everything changed. Now some landlords won’t even consider working with a section 8 resident, because of the heinous messaging and over generalizations that the public has been taught to think about the risk of renting to housing voucher holders. That’s why I use my REP platform to advocate for legislation that advances Affordable Housing and support the narrative shift that values housing vouchers and their holders.
“What home means to me is to be sheltered from the weather and the ability to live life at my fullest regardless of my age or disability.
“Often, the people just seeking to live their normal lives and building towards regaining their dwellings are subject to threats, harassment, drug usage, and domestic abuse. So, as a concerned Antioch resident… [I] support new and innovative permanent supportive housing projects so that no one has to stay in sub-optimal shared housing situations.”
“I use my REP platform to question whether affordable housing residents
have been included in the thought process in every situation and determine how we can help create more affordable housing in our County.
“As a homelessness survivor, there are things you don’t forget, like the 7 years it took me and my daughter to find affordable housing after I became disabled. Or the fact that I was number 2398 on a list of 2500 applicants. Tragically, there are waiting lists of 5000+ now. I still remember a young lady and her daughter living out of an RV parked on the side of the road. That could have been me and my daughter. COVID has illuminated the truth. We need to rethink our system of care. I use my REP platform to question whether affordable housing residents have been included in the thought process in every situation and determine how we can help create more affordable housing in our County.”
Loren (KC) Kadar
“Have you ever wondered what it would be like attending high school without stable housing, or maybe how a student could end up unhoused? In my case, it was June of 2015, my junior year.”
“…when my father and I had to move out of our apartment because my dad wasn’t able to work anymore due to him being a military veteran with PTSD triggered by the death of my mother. I dropped out of school and my dad sent me to Richmond to stay with family for a month. I started attending school again the next school year. Fortunately, I never spent too many nights on the street because I received help, whether that was couch surfing with friends or staying with my dad in the homeless shelter where I had to take an hour-and-a-half train ride to and from school. After I graduated, I started renting a house but needed four roommates to be able to afford the rent…we made it…for about a year. But once some roommates moved out, I ended up having to move back in with my dad in an affordable housing unit. By no means is it perfect; but it’s the first time in a while that I haven’t had to worry about where I’ll end up next.”
“My focus is to help make sure that the unhoused have housing. Making sure that they receive all the resources they need and most importantly to help people feel stable, safe, and secure in housing.”
“As a housing advocate, I have always felt the need to help people fight for their housing rights. In the past, I’ve personally had to deal with homelessness for two months. The unfair laws that are more tailored for landlords versus tenants are just one of many roads that lead to homelessness. That’s when I decided to help in the fight to end people being displaced. I believe that housing is a human right!
“Now the future for both me and my children is much, much brighter. That’s why I use my REP platform to ensure policies are explained to residents thoroughly, in a way that
someone like me could understand..”
“I have secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, but it still took 6 years to find permanent affordable housing. My medical costs and the fact that I can’t work full time caused me to be unable to pay my rent. I even had to leave my home state of CA to look for affordable housing in Nevada. However, since being housed here in Contra Costa County, my health has improved immensely – I no longer have to take all the strong medications I was previously prescribed for my condition. Now the future for both me and my children is much, much brighter. That’s why I use my REP platform to ensure policies are explained to residents thoroughly, in a way that someone like me could understand.”
“I use my REP platform to Question how and why people are falling through the cracks, and what safeguards are in place against it happening any further.”
“I am a survivor. After I left my abusive partner, my son and I had nowhere to live. It took 4 ½ years to find permanent housing. It felt like no one knew how to help us. My son and my own mental health were affected by the instability of being unhoused. The county’s domestic violence protective system failed me, like it does so many others. That’s why I am a REP. I don’t want anyone else to have to choose between abuse and a roof over their head, the way I had to. Now my son and I get the help we need all at our housing site with Hope Solutions. That’s why I use my REP platform to question how and why people are falling through the cracks, and what safeguards are in place against it happening any further.