From WTTW News:
Carla Shaw has lived in her Melrose Park, one-bedroom apartment for the last year and a half. Four months ago, she and her fiancé added baby Jaylen. He’s the first of her four children to be able to come with her from the hospital, drug-free.
“It feels great, I know I have somewhere to go to, I have a roof over my head. I have my baby,” Shaw said.
Shaw said she spent 15 years addicted to drugs, living a life “in the streets."
“I was trafficked at a young age and I didn’t know until I got in the program,” she said, “then, I realized. It was hard."
The program she is referring to is the drug addiction treatment program she entered through Cook County’s Rehabilitation Alternative Probation (RAP) program, or drug court.
Around the same time that Shaw completed (W)RAP (the court calls it WRAP for women graduates, RAP for men), Burns had just begun to partner with Housing Authority of Cook County Director Richard Monocchio to solve the problem.
“It’s hard enough to get affordable housing when you haven’t been through the criminal justice system, you don’t have other barriers to overcome,” Monocchio said. “It’s doubly hard when you do have these barriers,” Monocchio said
They started a program allowing up to 25 drug court graduates to receive a Housing Choice voucher. Recipients pay 30% of their income toward housing and HACC pays the rest.
Read WTTW's article "Cook County Program Helps Recovering Drug Addicts Find a New Lease on Life — Affordable Housing," featuring the Housing Authority of Cook County.