North Dakota’s Rent Help program has supported over 4,000 families.

One of the 4,000 families helped is thankful for the program and how this has helped their lives.

Beckie Albitre and Rene Craig moved from Louisiana to North Dakota on a two-day Greyhound relocating for better healthcare and jobs.

When their bus stopped, that’s when their search for a place to stay began. The journey started in Wahpeton but after hearing about more options to get help, they looked to Fargo.

“Everything, applications they’re just so nice here it’s unreal, getting ID, getting birth certificates and everything that we needed, social security, because we lost some of that,” the two said.

The community options through North Dakota Rent Help was their savior.

They said there were little to no requirements needed, except that they found their own apartment. But even when they didn’t have that information, the program was there with a list of available options.

I don’t know if you guys are aware, but you are one of the 4,000th people that they have helped. How does that make you all feel?

“It’s a blessing really, amazing. I just got chills thinking about it because you think when you’re filling out all this paperwork and you’re not finding a place or everything has a wait list. You start to think geez, is it meant to be? Is it something I’m doing? Especially when you have good credit but yet you have a good background you start thinking you know– you start to get sad about it…Wondering what else you need to do to achieve what they call it sustainability, being able to sustain and live on your own,” Albitre and Craig said.

Albeitre said the federal government has over $146 million to assist with those in need. They say that even if you can’t reach the program, they will find you and always get back to you.

The program also helped to pay for their apartment application fees and background checks. Their advice to families in similar situations is to ask questions and stay warm in the process?

“Don’t go outside and don’t stay outside, it is miserably cold out there,” Craig said.

They say their goal next is to simply get moved in and start fresh.

The two will sign their official paperwork for their apartment later on this week.

“I just wanted to tell people don’t give up. It seems like theirs is only Section 8 or HUD, and that’s not all there is out there. Those programs are there, and they’re great. But during the meantime while you’re on a waiting list, there is programs like we got to, get you started and a guarantee of rental payment for however long you’re qualified, so don’t just think that’s all you have,” said Albitre.

So far the North Dakota Rent Assistance Community Options program has provided over $18 million in rent and utility assistance in the state.