City of Midland in Serious Need of More "Transitional Housing"

By Jen Kastner
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- With rent prices shooting sky high and an overall lack of housing in the Basin, several people are being forced into the newly emerging category of the 'working homeless'.

Executive Director, Tom Miller, with Family Promises of Midland, says, "Some of the rent prices are so outrageous that our families simply can't afford them."

Family Promises is a shelter program that helps finding temporary housing for families. Generally, the housing agreements only last for a few months. When it's time for those families to pack up, the challenge that drove them there in the first place often reemerges.

"A lot of times for those families it's difficult to find apartments. Even after they've left our program, they can't find the apartments here in Midland," Miller said.

That's where the need for transitional housing comes into play. United Way of Midland's, Alison King, explained how transitional housing is different from low-income housing.

"It is not just giving them money so that they have a place to live or providing them with low rent," King said.

Transitional housing would generally allow a family to live at an apartment complex for a few years, as long as they maintained strong ties with case workers and continuously worked towards self-sufficiency and financial independence.

"There's an application process. There are referrals from other organizations they've been involved in. It has to be families that want to make differences in their lives," King said.

The Homeless Coalition of Midland has created a committee that will be looking at every possible way to bring more transitional housing to the Basin.