Rewriting her family's path
"I am a 24 year old single mother of two lovely children. As any of you parents know, as a mother, I want nothing but the best for my children now and in the future. To watch them grow into healthy, successful and most of all happy adults.
I grew up in poverty and neglect. Not a whole lot different than the many generations before me. It was an “unbreakable cycle”. My mother's mental stability was slowly dissipating and I had an abusive alcoholic stepfather. As a child we moved so often it was hard to maintain relationships and a sense of stability. In and out of apartments, shelters, family members homes and finally foster homes. I ended my teenage journey in a group home for youth. It was here I began to feel a sense of stability and the encouragement I needed to realize I was meant for more than to walk in my mother’s footsteps.
At 18 I moved out on my own and started going to college, but became pregnant shortly after with my son Noah. When I was 19, Noah was born 12 weeks prematurely with Spina Bifida which was a terrifying diagnosis for a young single mother. The next few years consisted of hospital stays, surgeries, and so many doctors’ appointments I lost count. My plans for becoming successful had slowly started to fade away. I had to focus on surviving and supporting my son. I settled for beauty school which was fast and flexible. I finished and thought I had a good chance of starting a career but quickly hit a dead end.
At 20, I entered an abusive relationship and became pregnant with my second child Paige. I began to realize that I was continuing the cycle. I had fallen so far that I was sure I could not find my way back up, but I would not drag my children down with me. I had to try and improve our circumstances. I chose to leave the situation and became homeless. This is when I reached out for help and found Housing Hope.
Noah and I moved in to the shelter in the summer of 2011 and were quickly moved into our own home. Shortly after, I had my daughter and was still having a difficult time. I was broke with no job, car, driver’s license or any meaningful career skills. My case manager connected me with the different resources available, including, but not limited to education, parenting/life skill classes, community resources, and childcare.
After meeting with the education specialist, I was accepted into and began the CATCH program which stands for Creating Access To Careers in Healthcare. I excelled and completed the program as a certified nurse’s aide. I had only just begun building my portfolio of skills. I enrolled in the medical billing program at Everett and continued to thrive in my education.
As I started to bloom, my children did also. Through Housing Hope's parenting skills classes I learned to connect with my children as well as be an active parent in my children’s developmental needs. Incredible Years was undoubtedly my favorite class that is offered through Housing Hope’s College of Hope.
I am rewriting history and believe I have begun to break the chain of poverty for my children and the many generations that will come after me. You see Housing hope did not just save me and my children but also many others.
I have since graduated from the program and have a beautiful home and am on my last quarter of school. We continue to grow and flourish as a family. Noah’s health and attitude are extraordinary and he is currently working on his walking and Paige is a very happy, healthy, and animated 2 year old.
The Housing Hope program did not just give us a means to an end but a bright new beginning. Housing Hope gives you the tool box for a successful life and the abilities to fill it with all the necessary tools. The skills I have gained from the program will stay with me always. Housing Hope gave me more than shelter, it has given me a sense of belonging as well as room to grow not only as a mother but as a young woman. I have proudly given my children something I had craved as a child: stability and a focused life."