We Are Braver Than We Believe
With hope and help, we can raise each other up.
Meet the Davis* family. Janice has struggled to create a safe home for her three children, ages 19, 16, and 14. In the past year, her family has experienced homelessness several times. Domestic violence, familial strife, child support issues, a custody battle, and rising rents combined to force her family into homelessness. As they moved around from place to place, this instability had a large impact on her children.
But in the midst of this housing instability, Janice continued to work where she’s a desk clerk and retail associate at St. Anthony’s in San Francisco — an organization dedicated to serving the homeless population in the Bay Area. She’s also a community volunteer, supporting Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing for homeless individuals.
Reaching Out for Help
Being no stranger to hard work and perseverance, Janice’s journey to find stable housing started with a visit to Samaritan House San Mateo. There, she worked with a case manager who completed an assessment to help determine to whom Janice and her family should be referred. That’s how she connected with Home & Hope.
Understandably, she was nervous about being part of yet another new environment, but in Janice’s words, “The churches were beautiful and there were so many nice people who were so helpful.” Home & Hope supported Janice in taking advantage of a housing voucher she had secured and obtaining rental assistance.
A Place to Call Home
After only 60 days with Home & Hope, Janice and her family moved into their new apartment, which is an extraordinary feat in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Home & Hope also helped enroll her daughter in a new school as well as purchase much needed essentials for the family’s new apartment.
Janice talked to her Home & Hope case manager about keeping her faith and staying strong in the midst of these challenges. “I want to do this for myself and my family — and show my kids that they’re taken care of.”
You can help homeless families like the Davis’ get back on their feet. Join our community of donors and volunteers today.
My family was evicted from our apartment and we had nowhere to turn. As darkness was closing in around us, Home & Hope appeared as a guiding light in the distance. My sisters and I feared what life would be like at a homeless shelter, but when we arrived for our intake appointment my fears were immediately silenced. The staff treated my family with respect and shared the history of compassion and safety that Home & Hope had.
We Were Stable and Happy, Then Things Changed
Life wasn’t always so precarious for me and my sisters. We grew up in a modest home in Indiana with three dogs and three cats. We went on family vacations, spent summer nights outdoors roasting marshmallows, and never wanted for support, food, or shelter. But that all changed when I was 10 years old. My dad was diagnosed with renal cancer and my dom was forced to work the night shift so that she could pay the bills and take care of her three daughters and her dying husband during the day.
After three years of struggle, my father passed away on a cold January morning in 2000. Nine months later my mom, two sisters, and I packed our bags and set out for a fresh start in sunny California. Things went well the first couple of years, my dom had a great job, my sisters and I had made new friends, and we were settling in nicely to our new life.
We Had Nowhere to Turn
One summer day about two years after our move, my mom was fired from her job. I found out that she hadn’t been adjusting to our life as well as my sisters and I had been. She had been silently struggling with depression since my dad’s death and had finally buckled under the stress. For the next two years my mom was able to pay the bills with unemployment and disability checks, but eventually those ended and we had nowhere to turn.
Then There was Home & Hope
My family stayed at Home & Hope during my senior year in high school — and I’m so grateful we did because it gave me some much needed stability. After getting back on our feet, I went to college and then nursing school at San Francisco State University. Without the support of Home & Hope and their volunteers, I don’t know where I would be now. I’m so grateful for the love and support I received from them; they’ll always be a part of my life.
“I couldn’t imagine what would’ve happened to me if I didn’t stay with Home & Hope. I would’ve been in a terrible situation. With Hope & Hope’s help, I got back on my feet and improved my life and the lives of my children. I’m so grateful to the staff and volunteers. Thank you!”
— A.N., guest
“The volunteers who worked with us were so supportive. I didn’t feel judged or criticized. Instead, they saw that I was a good parent doing the best I could in a tough situation and that, by getting help, I was doing right by my children. They were also really kind and supportive of my kids, which I’ll always be grateful for.”
“I think it’s a good thing to take time to show each other that we care because, at any point, any of us could need help from one another.”
“I’m in awe of these families. I’m thankful to be able to connect with them in small but meaningful ways — over breakfast, as they make bag lunches, as they leave for the van that carries them to the Family Day Center. I’m honored to be able to participate in such a simple and meaningful way. Thank you to the families whose patience, kindness, and courage inspire me every time I join you.”
— C.D., volunteer host
“When I volunteer at Home & Hope, I’m reminded that anyone can come upon tough times. The residents in the program are parents trying to do the best job they can in raising their children. I admire them and I’m so glad there’s a program that helps them achieve their goals.”
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