“I’m not stressed out anymore. I get up in the morning and see what I can achieve everyday.”
In the middle of a California winter, Nadine and her family had to move out of their home. “In the pouring rain, I was scuffling to get all my stuff into storage,” said Nadine.
Nadine and her kids bounced between sleeping in her car and on the floors of friends’ apartments. At one point, she was sleeping in the entryway of a friend’s house. The children were sleeping inside on a love seat and two chairs pushed together in the living room.
“I was so stressed out. I cried all the time,” said Nadine. “I kept asking myself how I could ever find a job when I don’t have a place to stay. I couldn’t think straight.”
After more than a year of being homeless, Nadine brought her family to Passageways for intake and assessment and from there they were placed at our Family Center.
“When Nadine first arrived at the Family Center, she was anxiety-ridden and hopeless,” said William Shelby, Nadine’s case manager. “She had totally given up and her children were exhibiting severe behavioral problems.”
Nadine said that before long at the Family Center she began to feel a sense of calm and relief. However, it was difficult on her twins. “It took my children quite a while to adjust,” recalls Nadine. “They weren’t used to all the rules: dinner at 6:30, lights out early. They had bad attitudes and were having trouble in school.”
Nadine has worked hard with William to address the issues that led to her homelessness. With his encouragement and support, she enrolled in Sources, our career development program where she learned how to look for work, create a resume, and successfully handle a job interview.
“Sources helped me feel more confident,” she says. “A volunteer comes on Fridays and teaches me how to use the computer.”
Today the family is doing well and will soon move out of the Family Center into their own apartment. Through our banking program, Nadine even managed to save the most money of any Family Center parent.
“My goals are to find a job and look for a place to live. I feel more relaxed, I’m not stressed out anymore,” she says. “I enjoy getting up in the morning and trying to see what I can achieve everyday. My kids are feeling really good about themselves, too. They’re 17 now. Kenneth got a summer job as a janitor and Kyra worked at a park with kids in a summer camp. We also enjoy our family time, every Saturday. We went to the Arboretum together and had a great time, and the Family Center staff gave us tickets to take a tour of the Rose Bowl. We share about our friends, hang out, just talk.”
William sums it up. “As Nadine’s sense of accomplishment builds, you can see her transform. She’s thinking, talking and acting more positively. She has totally flourished.”