A program aimed at matching homeowners with people who need a home will end after 28 years in metro Atlanta. Funding for the Housemate Match program was cut drastically.
The program has helped thousands of people - some to avoid foreclose and others to find an affordable and safe place to live.
Sandy Taffel and David Nolte shared a cup coffee on the porch. They've been living under the same roof for two months.
"I needed the extra income coming in because I'm divorced and I thought it would be a nice thing to take somebody in and share my house with somebody," Taffel said.
Taffel and Nolte found each other through Housemate Match. Nolte is visually impaired and needed to find the right arrangement.
"This way I'm living with someone, they're my friend. I feel more secure that way," Nolte said.
"How does it work? Well, I have a downstairs area and they pretty much live downstairs and I live upstairs," Taffel said.
The Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta coordinates the Housemate Match program. Employees conduct interviews and background checks. In 28 years they matched between 5,000 and 6,000 people.
"The financial conditions over the last few years have certainly added to the need," said Steven Cadranel, MJCCA president.
Now those same conditions will force the program to end. Public and private funding was cut.
"We've reached a point now where our funders are also trying to stretch their dollars and having to make some very difficult decisions and as a result we just don't have the dollars necessary to continue to sustain the program," Cadranel said.
All of the current matches will stay matched.
"I'm happy to be here. It's made a difference in my life," Nolte said.
Taffel, who is on her second successful match, hates to see the program go
"I was just devastated because I think it's a wonderful program and it's so needed now with the economy like it is," Taffel said.
The program will officially end on June 30. Matches will be made through the end of the month.
MJCCA has partnered with United Way, who was one of the funding sources for the Housemate Match program. There are other housing programs under the United Way. Anyone with housing needs can call *211.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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