Homelessness impacts the whole community and is at the center of many other social needs and issues. It impacts our local healthcare, public safety, education, and many other systems.
Imagine, for a moment, being homeless, being a mother and trying to go to work each day to keep your job. When you get up in the morning, there is not a restroom where you can get ready for work and breakfast is fast food that you will pick up on the way to taking your kids to school. Your kids will get lunch at school and you will try to find a place to live over your lunch break. You find an apartment to rent but, on the application, they ask for your current address…
Not many of us can even imagine so many tasks related to getting to work. And if you are a single parent, you also need to take and pick up your child from school. This is a story about Caroline, a single mom, making her way back from homelessness.
“The Journey home is the only support system I have; the resources here have helped me get to where I am. I’m grateful for everyone that has helped me along the way.”
When Caroline fled from domestic violence with her young son, she didn’t know where to go. She paid for a hotel for a few nights then found temporary shelter with a friend, but neither situation was a long-term solution. She was riding her bike all the way across town to get to work, trying to save enough money for a car to replace the one she’d lost.
Months earlier, when she was pregnant with her son, Caroline had come to The Journey Home to ask how to get a food box. Caroline reached out again when she found herself alone and desperate.
“I had no idea of what The Journey Home did for people, or what resources were available to me. You went above and beyond to help me with so many things—bus tickets, childcare, and even housing. I am so thankful for the housing program! I desperately wanted to provide a safe place for my son to lay his head down at night—that’s the only thing that matters—but I couldn’t manage it on my own.”
More than just a place to live, the Supportive Housing Program helps people like Caroline move beyond their current circumstances to improve their life and future. The Journey Home staff worked with Caroline to create a housing plan unique to her. This included assessing her needs, connecting with appropriate support services, and setting goals.
Caroline has purchased a car, moved into a safe place to live and is continuing to accomplish her goals.
Many survivors of domestic violence become homeless when they choose to leave an abusive relationship. Finding safe, affordable housing can be challenging on a limited income and not everyplace provides a place for adults with children complicating a situation that is already overwhelming to most. The Journey Home helps people and families find housing and provides some extra help to get established.
Homelessness can have long-lasting devastating physical, emotional and psychological effects on children and their parents. Families become homeless because of a lost job, reduced work hours, or an unanticipated expense. Helping the family to stabilize by assisting with housing allows for their healing – financially, emotionally, and psychologically.