Secrets

01/25/2024

a few hard things

I haven't told people these things because I have been extra cautious not to "do [my] good deeds publicy to be admired by others, for [I] will lose the reward from [my] Father in heaven." Matt 6:1

Despite my loud personality and the dramatic clothes I wear, I don't want others to see my good deeds. I don't look for recognition. 

But then I learned,

Unless you tell people clearly, they can't help. Unless you tell people, they don't know what's happening to others. Unless you tell people, they don't know that you're doing it all alone - the support coming only from the people you're housing. 

I've been working more than 40 hours a week for a more than a year. I have not been paid. We've covered my working expenses, travel expenses out of our pocket.

This business operates from the rent received from residents. 

100% of the rent received goes to pay the bills for the homes. It doesn't pay me. It doesn't pay the residents who hold leadership positions within the home.

The foundation began with a large personal cash donation. It's operating with the donation of my time. 

People like to do the math. 11 residents in Archie's house x $150 a week = $6600 and think I am making a lot of money as a non-profit. The math is wrong. That's not my P&L sheet. 

We have an accountant and bookkeeper. We have a lawyer for our resident contracts. We have to pay rent for each beautiful home, insurance, all home maintenance costs, all housing bills. My insurance costs are double those of the typical landlord because I purchase Sober Home insurance. It's difficult to find a Sober Home insurance provider and absolutely necessary. 

I have 3 homes: 2 Men's and 1 Women's. Only one home houses 11 people. The others house less. People don't know the vacancy rate and payment plans of each resident. 

Only about 1/2 my residents can pay rent upon entering the home. That money comes from a family member, the resident's life savings of less than $2,000, maybe their social security, or a grant from the treatment center. The sober community, people who decide to change their lives and choose a new way, they lost their jobs either during addiction or treatment. They lost family support during the lengthy addiciton. 

I don't charge anything other than rent. These are fully furnished homes, and there's no extra charges beyond a $5 late fee that typically goes upaid and is forgiven. There's no application fee, downpayment, cleaning charge, or facilities fees. That's intentional. A facility fee, application fee, or downpayment is frequently a barrier to housing for those who are trying to get basic housing. We also don't do fees for breaking a house rule. 

So I frequently house people who can't pay rent until they get a job, earn the first paycheck from the job, which is usually after week 4, but they relapse on week 4. Or they take the housing I provided, find a job, find a friend at the job, move in with the friend, and pay the friend the money that was supposed to go to pay IVY Home Foundation. 

I accept that. That is what housing hurt people looks like. There's so much beauty here that I get to experience. There's also a gross amount of loss - money is only one part of the loss experienced.