Member Story Karla
Member Story

Karla Ortiz and her children lost their housing and were living on the streets for around two months when they were connected to an organization called Union Station Homeless Services. Karla was provided with a security deposit that would help cover the first few months of rent. With this timely aid, Karla’s family has been able to shelter in various motels throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

In those months where Karla and her family experienced homelessness and Karla was not able to cook, the family had to largely rely on fast food or other nonprofit food resources. With the recommendation of a coworker that had previously found One Degree helpful, Karla started to use the One Degree mobile app offline to find retailers that accepted Electronic Benefit Transfers (EBT.)

“I just want to emphasize how it (One Degree) really comes in handy when I did not have service, when my kids and I were in the street….”

Karla also relied on the mobile app to find food banks, free toiletries, and opportunities that would provide activities for her children. Today, she is still utilizing the One Degree app, along with Zillow, Facebook, and Craigslist to search for long-term affordable housing. Karla wants other community members to know about One Degree because she thinks it gives people great awareness on how much assistance there is out there for people in similar situations.