There’s No Place Like Home
It gives me comfort in knowing that whatever happens that day or that week that when the day is over I have a safe place to watch my children sleep and me also. A place where my family can be comfortable and where children can be children. It’s my safe haven. I feel like all I go through outside it will be okay when I get home, where I can think about, pray about, cry about, laugh about, in my home. I know I can be honest and humble. It’s a sad terrible thing when you don’t feel safe or comfortable because you’re in a place that’s not yours or a place where you are not wanted. My home is my sanctuary.
Three barriers consistently rise to the top of the list of things that keep a person from being able to support their self or their family – a lack of a safe place to live, lack of affordable childcare and lack of reliable transportation. Most of the time, not having a safe place to live ranks first.
Seventy percent of our current class lack stable, permanent, safe housing. Two reside in halfway houses. Three began the semester in living situations where they could not have their children with them. Still another is at risk of losing the home she owns due to back taxes.
This is not a new problem. Nor is this specific to this particular class.
For the past two years we have dedicated a portion of our very limited resources to help FaithWorks graduates have a safe place to live as they transition from the every-day-in-the-classroom phase of their life to beginning work. It takes a lot to set up a home when you are starting from scratch.
In the beginning I thought we could do this fast. I believed that we could gather a family, set up a household and walk away in 60 to 90 days knowing that family and their home were “set”. I am learning how long it takes to get a person in their first safe home. It only sounds simple.
The quote at the top of the page is from a student who graduated last year and now has lived with her two children in a place of their own for almost a full year. She is the third single mom FaithWorks has helped in this location over the past two years.
Having her own apartment provided a place to rest, recover and heal from surgery this past year. Her first year in her own place has not been without bumps in the road, but the journey, as you read her quote, has been oh, so worth it.
This month, a current student was able to move into a house with room for her three children and her sister, who will help care for her children. I see this student come in exhausted each morning after her full day of class the day before and her evening job. Today she fell asleep sitting straight up in computer lab. This hard working mom was blessed in that she did have her own car when she began FaithWorks on June 1st. And we were blessed to be a part of her moving into a safe home, being reunited with her children, and finding childcare with the help of community subsidies and the great summer program offered by Boys and Girls Club.
As far as I know these two young moms have never met. But I believe as they gather their children in their homes each evening, after long days in work or class, they both give thanks to God for safe, affordable housing.
“It gives me comfort in knowing that whatever happens that day or that week that when the day is over I have a safe place to watch my children sleep and me also…it will be okay when I get home, where I can think about, pray about, cry about, laugh about, in my home”.
Meanwhile, in the classroom we have completed the first three modules in the life skills curriculum and chosen careers. Internship locations are being identified and will begin the week of July 27th and run for the next four weeks.