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This Hero Wanted to Do More Than Alleviate Homelessness. He’s Preventing It.

December 30, 2013
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This Hero Wanted to Do More Than Alleviate Homelessness. He’s Preventing It.
Steven Lane/The Columbian
A Vancouver attorney is helping families stay in their homes, in exchange for community service.

Attorney Evan Hull has witnessed how homelessness can tear families apart. As board vice president of Vancouver’s Open House Ministries, a nonprofit that provides transitional housing and job training for homeless families, Hull has seen kids drop out of school and parents lose custody over not being able to pay their bills. So instead of just continuing to help the homeless, Hull decided he would go a step further and try to prevent families from losing their homes in the first place.

MORE: If you want to hire someone to help the homeless, why not the formerly homeless?

Through volunteering at Washington Elementary School, Hull found his first beneficiary, a single mother of two girls. He helped her pay her bills in exchange for community service, allowing her to stay in her home. Next, Hull focused his efforts on Shannon Lindberg, a former addict who was trying to regain custody of her children. Hull helped her pay off her rent twice, also in exchange for community service. In October, the court granted her custody of her 11-year-old daughter, who had been in foster care for nearly three years. Now, Hull is looking for his next beneficiary. He’s proof that an ordinary citizen can do extraordinary things.

AND: Utah Is on Track to End Homelessness by 2015 with This One Simple Idea

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