COMMUNITY OF HOPE DINNER
Guest Speaker | Erin
My name is Erin and I have always prided myself in being a strong and independent person who does things on her own. I have never been the type who finds comfort in depending on others or asking for help when I truly need it.
So when I found myself homeless it was hard for me to be that person that asks for help. I bounced from place to place, family member to family member until I no longer could. I realized I had hit rock bottom when I found myself pregnant and living in my car with nowhere to go. That’s when I found Housing Hope, however there was no available housing. There was a waitlist not just for Housing Hope, but for all housing, so I continued to live in my car for the duration of my pregnancy.
When it was time to have my daughter, a kind family opened their door to me and gave me a place to stay. Despite not being in their housing, Housing Hope still connected me to resources, including their child development center, Tomorrow’s Hope, once Jocelyn was born.
This is where I chose to enroll Jocelyn. I loved how caring Tomorrow’s Hope staff were towards the children and how they focused the learning based on the developmental needs of each child. After a year, I was offered a job in the kitchen. Now with stable employment, I could look for a home.
To my surprise, I had forgotten that I had already applied for housing with Housing Hope before Jocelyn was born. When I went to ask about housing, I found that my name was at the top of the list!! I was filled with joy and hope. Right before Jocelyn's 2nd birthday, we moved into our home.
With the stability of housing and a job, I was able to look at ways to grow. I worked with a Family Support Coach to set goals, discuss budgets and access resources like the local food bank. Sometimes she just listened to me because that was all I needed. I also enrolled in classes through Housing Hope’s College of Hope. Some classes I took were cooking, stress management, cleaning, budgeting, and many more. All of these tools helped motivate me to reach higher and go further in my life.
Now, four years since the start of my story, I’m working full-time in a management position at Subway. I feel that I am ready to move on from Housing Hope’s programs as I continue to be self-sufficient and provide for my, now, two children! I hope to one day be a homeowner and own my own restaurant. I would not be where I am today without the stability Housing Hope provides.
My story is one you would have heard directly from me at the Community of Hope Dinner. When I found out it was cancelled, I was so disappointed to not be able to share it with you, which is why I am honored to send you this letter today. Cancelling the fundraising dinner has taken a toll on Housing Hope’s ability to raise funds for affordable housing and programs that help support and strengthen our community. There are many ways to show support, but the most impactful one is to make a gift to ensure Housing Hope staff will be there for families like mine during these difficult times.
Now, more than ever, we all need to come together and support each other.
Please consider making a gift to Housing Hope today. All your support stays here in East County to help families overcome challenges and build a future for our children.
Thank you for your generosity and for your gift.
Non-Profits are particularly vulnerable during crises like these. Your support will ensure that we can continue to serve our families and help them get through these trying times and succeed when this is over.