No longer homeless, but still struggling

Over the summer, “Press Play” profiled a homeless woman living on LA’s Skid Row. Her name is Dawn Ghan. Since then, Dawn has moved off the streets and into housing — but it’s not quite a happy ending yet. She’s still struggling to keep a roof over her head.

Dawn lives in a two-bedroom apartment on a sleepy street in Covina, about 20 miles east of downtown LA.  Technically she has half the apartment – she could be placed with a roommate at any time – but for the moment it’s all hers. She was placed in the building through what’s called a Rapid Rehousing program, funded by LA County.

Rapid Rehousing provides a short-term bridge between the streets and a permanent home. When Dawn first moved in, she paid about $200 a month toward rent. That’s about a third of her income. Since then, under the terms of the program, her rent has gone up a little each month. Within a year, she’ll be responsible for paying the full rate of about $900. She’s only halfway there, but she’s already falling behind.

“It’s been real tough,” she said. “I scrape on food … I’m a little minus in my account right now.”

Dawn is a kind of case study in how hard it can be to house the homeless – and the reality that even when you do, there can still be other problems to untangle.

Listen to her update here:

(Photo: Dawn at a job fair)