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Greetings from Clara!


Clara Ross, pictured at left, is Broadway's greeter. She is also founder of Home for Tracy, a transitional housing program for women. Here, she shares wisdom about homelessness.

Since I opened Home for Tracy in April of 2023, over 115 women have applied to get in. I really need people to understand not all homeless people are on drugs or mentally ill, but they may still end up on the streets with nowhere to go or no one to turn to.

Here is a sample of why they need housing:

1. Aged out of welfare system

2. Recently divorced, separated, or out of a long-term relationship

3. Young person whose parents did not like their choice of sexual orientation

4. Victim of house fire or natural disaster

5. Loss of job because of disability

6. Elderly and could not keep up mortgage/house/rent payment

7. Newly released from jail or prison

8. Just turned 18 and told to leave the house (not prepared)

9. Young mother with too many kids (couch surfer)

10. Hospital bills and physical limitations/access to jobs.

11. Leaves toxic relationship with family

12. New arrival to South Bend and told all the housing opportunities

13. Death of parent or primary source of income

14. People who are over 18 and mildly handicapped, mentally or physically, and receiving a disability check

15. Domestic violence victim

16. Caregiver of child/spouse with medical problems and can't afford to work because they need medical attention and not enough income to pay bills and housing

17. The landlord wants to sell the house/high rental prices

18. Past criminal history (over 10 years ago)

19. Past eviction history (got kicked out because of friends or family)

20. Can't afford extra security deposit for animals

Reality check for the Homeless Tracy (my name for homeless women in honor of a woman who died on the streets) regarding getting a job and finding housing:


1. Application fees = $25-$75

2. 2 bedroom $900+$900 deposit = $1,800

3. Utilities deposits (low end) = $198 (gas) $105(water) $140 (electric) equals $443

4. Yearly cost for rent = $21,600

5. If she makes $13 an hour, if she works full time she makes $520 a week (gross), approximately $460 (take home) = $840 a month with $940 left over after her rent is paid for the month.

6. Monthly bus pass = $32

7. Food should not be a luxury. It costs approximately $70 a week if she budgets right, makes every meal herself, and use food pantries.

8. Household supplies. = approximately $50

9. Hygiene products again should not be a luxury, nor should they be optional. They cost about $40

10. Monthly utilities bills, if on budget = $150

11. Cell phone bill = $50-$70

This home cannot afford towels, sheets, beds, dressers, shower curtains, dish soap -- just the same things we take for granted.

I just want people to know when you are homeless you are in the negative even when or if you find a place to stay.

574-289-0333 |

1412 Carroll Street • South Bend, Indiana 46613

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