Waiting It Out at the Annex

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Date: Monday, May 11 2020
One Family "Just Trying to Find a Place to Settle Down"

Cass, her partner Chris, and their son Skyler are looking for their niche. The quest has taken them from Eugene to Vegas, and back to Eugene again, leaving a trail of housing situations that didn’t work out.

mom and son at table
Cass and Skyler, pictured, and Chris are among the 19 families sheltering at the First Place Family Center Annex. The facility and grounds afford room for social distancing among family units.

Ready for stability but lacking resources, the family started the rebuilding process at First Place Family Center and in Night Shelter, then moved into the Annex full time to wait out the COVID-19 emergency.

Meanwhile, Chris and Cass applied to St. Vincent de Paul’s affordable housing program.

Mother and son struggle to focus their attention, which makes homeschooling even more of a challenge. Cass is grateful for the Annex’s daily routine, which has tutors in the building helping with schoolwork for two hours in the morning, and Kids’ Club for another two hours in the afternoon.

Seated beside his mom in the long Annex foyer, Skyer disengages from an electronic headset long enough to declare that his favorite aspect of the Annex is his newfound friend. With parental permission, of course, they can play from morning to the dinner hour.

The Quest for Housing
* As of May 12, 2020, among families associated with St. Vincent de Paul housing programs:
2 families: approved and waiting.
4 families*: pending approval.

* Including 1 family through Supportive Services to Veteran Families (SSVF) and one through Connections Transitional Housing.

She and Chris appreciate that each of the Annex’s 19 family groups has a cubicle that's off limits to others, and that Skyler has access to a spacious playground with kid-friendly equipment and constant supervision.

Chris and Cass stay focused like hawks on their goal – a stable place to raise their son.

“We kept coming back so we figured, hey, we might as well stay,” she said. “We’re just trying to find a place to settle down.”