When Crystal applied to the BRHP program she had hope that she could find a better community for her family. At the time, she had one teenage and two preteen daughters and they lived in a Baltimore Public Housing development called Landvale Towers.

She knew that she could make any house a home, so she didn’t mind the apartment, but the community was not what she envisioned for herself. She described the community near Landvale Towers as drug- and rodent- infested and unclean. So, she applied to BRHP, with her hope for a better community in mind.

Crystal was accepted and began her time with BRHP in August of 2009 when she attended her first counseling session. She enjoyed the workshops and counseling BRHP offered because they really prepared her for what to expect with the program, landlords, and her move to the county. Once she completed her workshops and counseling she began looking for a new home on and quickly found a home in Harford County that suited her family, one where each of her kids could have their own room.

What Crystal found in Harford County was exactly what she had hoped for. Her family grew very close to her neighbors at their home in Edgewood. They cut each other’s grass, spent time together, and looked out for one another. The differences between their new community and the community they were in at Landvale Towers were vast. She was able to find an “excellent” childcare provider that was just down the road from her home to care for her grandchild who was born while they were in the program.

Her girls loved their school and settled well into their new community. On their first day, they pointed out the salad bar they had for lunch, a healthy food option they did not have in their city school. This was only one of the benefits Crystal’s girls experienced in their new county school. “Teachers are distracted in the city,” Crystal lamented, “They have so much to deal with. They aren’t able to focus on academics like they are in the county.” Her girls felt welcomed and grew to love the county.

Crystal was thankful for her time with BRHP saying, “It was a blessing to my family.” During our time together, she thought back to the people she met along the way. Her neighbors in Edgewood, her babysitter there, and her landlord at her second home are all people she has kept in touch with even as she moved on from our program.

It was clear that she built the community she was hoping for when she lived in Baltimore and applied for BRHP. Crystal and her family decided to withdraw from the BRHP program after their income increased, but they didn’t leave their Harford County community. Now, Crystal lives in a new apartment with her middle daughter and her grandson. Of their new home she says, “It’s a bit smaller than before, but I’m grateful and happy. We’ve made it home.”

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