BALTIMORE (WJZ) — For Koumba Yasin, this is the first home she’s had in years. The 52-year-old woman has struggled with homelessness for decades, most recently due to losing her job because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I slept in cars, I’ve slept in houses, vacant houses, I’ve slept out in the park,” Yasin said.

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Now, she’s moving into a new home, part of a revitalized program for people who are homeless in the city.

“It gives our clients up to eighteen months of rental assistance,” said Tisha Edwards, acting director for the Mayor’s Office of Homeless Services.

It provides housing for a year.

“In the past, the rapid rehousing program was only from three to six months,” Edwards said.

They can also get access to job training and therapy.

“Homelessness affected my mental health,” Yasin said.

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“We’re talking about employment support, we’re talking about substance disorder support, mental health support,” Edwards said.

Over the winter months, many homeless people camped out under I-83. Some held a protest in January.

“I got three kids, like I need housing,” one person said in January.

Now, just over 130 people are in the re-housing program and the city said it’s just getting started.

“The goal is to end homelessness in Baltimore,” Edwards said.

Yasin said she is just getting started too, thanks to the new roof over her head.

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“It means stability, it means that I can take this time and be the woman that I know I can be,” Yasin said.

Annie Rose Ramos