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A Community Response to Family Homelessness

Kathy’s Story

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Kathy moved to the United States when she was 14. She was not enrolled in school and had to simply learn the language on her own. She married an abusive husband early in life. They had three beautiful children together. Throughout the years, Kathy tried to leave many times. Because of Kathy’s lack of financial stability, she was unable to support herself and the kids without her spouse. She finally left for good in 2012 and bounced around from shelter to shelter. She finally got to Family Promise. Kathy said, “Before I came here, I really didn’t have any friends. But now, all the people I met, I want to stay friends with them.” Not only did Kathy find respite, she also found a place where she was loved and respected. Staff and volunteers noticed changes in Kathy’s demeanor. When she first came in, she could barely look people in the eyes, and she rarely smiled. After a month or two, she started smiling all of the time, making eye contact, and gaining weight. Although Kathy was making significant personal progress, she was struggling to find employment or livable income. After six months in the program, Kathy was approved for public housing. She said, “I can’t believe I’m going to have an apartment. I’ve never had one before!” Finally she wanted to say to the program, “Thank you, Family Promise volunteers. We appreciate your kind hearts. You have showed me a wonderful time and also helped me believe that there is a God above. We love you and God bless.”

I’m staying here because my kids are busy having so much fun with the volunteers that they don’t even know they’re homeless.

— Becky