One emergency away from being homeless, ARCH helps these families

By Jenna Zibton - Anchor

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  The average fair market rent for a one bedroom apartment in Roanoke is $669, according to ARCH Executive Director Ali Hamed-Moore.  For people making minimum wage with children it is hard to provide everything for their families.  Nearly 600 children in Roanoke City Schools are homeless.

I'm a firm believer in this community that we're only as good as the most vulnerable of us so if we're taking care of children who are literally the most vulnerable and we make a commitment to getting them housed and helping them thrive and be stable I think we're all better off" - Ali Hamed-Moore

ARCH is one of the United Way partner agencies providing case management to give these families a boost as part of RYSE. They work with families to find housing, move into housing, and support them for up to a year so whatever brought them into homelessness is addressed.

"Some of it is that people are in the low wage jobs and we are challenged with affordable housing, that's a huge issue when you're making $7.25 or $8.00 an hour," explained said Hamed-Moore. "If you were barely making it and your car breaks down or you get a huge medical bills, or your child gets sick and you have to be home from work and lose your job these are folks that are living right on the edge and so if one thing happens it all kind of falls apart."

She shared the story of a family recently helped by ARCH that was paying $45 a day for a one room motel the family of four was living in. Both parents worked but couldn't save up for security deposits to move into permanent housing. At the the end of the month, the daily payments were adding up to $1350 which would easily house them somewhere else. There are 50 Roanoke students who spent the school year living in motels.

"Children can't learn and can't thrive if they're not stable. These are hard-working families just like yours and mine they just need a boost to get into housing and stay there and I think we can do that," said Hamed-Moore.

The 10 Cares RYSE Up Roanoke Telethon will provide a much needed boost to families like these who just need a little help to get back on their feet.

From 5 a.m. to 8 p.m on Wednesday, June 29, WSLS 10 and United Way of Roanoke Valley are teaming up to hold the 10 Cares RYSE Up Roanoke Telethon. While the telethon will be happening throughout the day, starting at 7:30 p.m. WSLS 10 will be airing a live half-hour telethon special!

RYSE, which stands for Rehousing Youth for Success in Education, is an initiative by the United Way that works with local schools to identify homeless children and put their family on the pathway to self-sufficiency.

On June 29, there'll be three different ways for you to donate and help this cause.

  1. Call: Just dial 1-866-975-7697 and you'll be connected to someone in our phone bank who will take your pledge
  2. Online: Go to www.uwrv.org/ryseuproanoke to donate
  3. Text: Send the message "RYSE" and a dollar amount to 41444. You will then receive a link to fill out an online form. Standard message and data rates apply

If you want to donate before the telethon, that's fine too!

Tweeting about the event? Make sure to use #RYSEUpRoanoke

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