Serving Homeless Families with Children in Hancock County

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Our mission is to break the cycle of homelessness by equipping families with minor children with the skills they need to gain self-sufficiency.


Even the Homeless, who have lost almost everything, are Welcoming to All.  Can we be as hospitable?  Help today by contacting us to find out how!!

Children in the Dark

Read the Story of Ashley: 
          My dream of becoming a doctor became when I was just six years old.  I helped care for my dying mother and knew that I wanted to help other sick people.  However, my life soon changed dramatically and I never fulfilled my dream.
          After my mother died of cancer, my father moved in with a woman.  I'll refer to her as my "step-mom" although they were never married.  I was responsible for my younger siblings, step-siblings, and half-siblings.  I was often in and out of foster care.  I was labeld a "floster kid".  As a result, kids unmercifully picked on me in school.  Teachers blamed me for things I didn't do, but I was too shy to protest. 
          When I was a senior in high school, I got pregnant.  My father told me to leave the house so I moved in with my boyfriend and was unable to complete high school.  Shortly after the first baby's birth, I became pregnant again.  My boyfriend started drinking and, unable to stay with him, I returned to my parent's house. 
          Shortly after moving in with them, my second baby tragically died of SIDS.  Around the same time, I discovered that my underage sister was dating, with my parent's knowledge, a convicted pedophile.  When I threatened to phone the police, my parents evicted me from their house. 
          My next home was the porch of a neighbor's house.  While there, I became pregnant by my step-brother.  Luckily, I was admitted to a homeless shelter and eventually issued a housing voucher. 
          I want to finish high school, go to college, volunteer at a cancer center, and work, but I am without child-care, transportation, and can't drive.  My parents are in and out of my life, often taking money from me.  I want better for my children, but don't know how to make a fresh start.

Read the story of Michael:
          Every day as a child, my step-father beat me and my mother turned a blind eye.  When I was 17, I moved in with my biological father.  However, he also beat me.  Despite my difficult home situation, I completed my GED and enrolled in college, but instead of finishing, I dropped out and married.  Now I have three ex-wives, five children, parents with mental illnesses, and a step-father who is an alcoholic.
          Although I worked extra hours at my minimum wage job, I was unable to pay rent.  My children and I moved into a tent to save money.  Regardless, I could not afford food.  In order to feed my kids, I stopped eating.  When I became quite sick, my children and I entered a homeless shelter.
          I left the shelter with a rental voucher and food stamps, but have no income.  My odd jobs at a church provide money for some neccessities.  For a short time, I met with a Case Worker who informed me that I had a mental illness.  I waited for treatment, but when the Case Worker retired, I never received it.  I still exist from day-to-day and I don't see anything changing.

Read the story of Emily:
          When I was 13, my parents died of drug overdoses.  I was forced to move in with my elderly aunt and uncle.  Following their deaths, I lived with my boyfriend, finished high school, and started college.  While in college, I became pregnant, but was determined to complete school.  However, after the birth of my baby, my boyfriend was arrested for an outstanding warrant I didn't even know he had.  No longer able to afford my apartment or continue college, I went to a homeless shelter.  
          At the shelter, a man and I decided to live together.  We managed to get a housing voucher for rent.  I worked nights while my boyfriend was supposed to be watching the baby.  However, every night he partied and got drunk.  He didn't feed my son, or change his diaper.  One day, DHHS visited me and saw my son's poor health.  I lost custody.  Now, two years later, I still haven't regained custody.  How do I ever get him back?    

Read the story of Jennifer:
          My mother was an alcoholic and drug addict.  I never knew my father.  My mother, when she wasn't trying to kill us, would often kick my younger sister and I out of the house.  Sometimes we lived in abusive foster homes and sometimes on our own.  To cope, I started drinking and taking drugs.  My sister and I barely graduated high school, through the goodwill of an excellent teacher, and I started college.  However, the college expelled me due to my addictions.  I married, had a baby, and then divorced.  I started drinking and taking drugs again, which finally, 20 years later, landed me in the hospital due to an overdose.  After leaving the hospital, I entered a homeless shelter.
          Every day, I work on my recovery and remain sober.  I live with a rental voucher, do not work due to chronic disability sustained in birth and childhood, and have no vehicle.  I am also a victim of domestic violence from an live-in ex-boyfriend.  I work on that every day too. 
          I long for my life to be better, but don't know how.

Read the story of Jessica:
          My husband left me while I was delivering my second child.  I moved in with my parents.  When my father passed away, my mother and I worked three full-time minimum wages jobs.  Despite our efforts, we could not afford our rental house and moved into our car.
          We lived in the car with my two children and my mother's two dogs.  In freezing weather, we moved into a cheap motel.  Then my mother broke her ankle.  We no longer could afford the rent and the motel owners informed the police that we were trespassing.  Luckily, a homeless shelter accepted our family and we were able to find people to "foster" my mother's dogs.  Months later, we are still living in the shelter and I am still working my two minimum wage jobs.  I believe this is my life.

Read the story of Sarah:
          My husband was always a little volitile.  Howeve, when he knocked me over the head with a phone, it was the last straw.  I left the house with my two children, my cell phone, and the keys to my old truck.  My parents are deceased and I didn't know where to go.  The truck had almost no gas.  I was without money to buy food. 
          I knew I could stay with a friend of my parents who I had always considered an uncle, but I just had to get to his house.  The local domestic violence agency had a place for me and my kids, but it was even farther away.  The local food pantry required 24 hour's notice to distribute food and my children were crying as they were both hungry and thirsty.  Fortunately, a pantry volunteer managed to get us some essentials, along with a small gas voucher.  I managed to drive to my uncle's, but know I can't impose on him forever.  I have no idea what I will do next.

Read the story of Amy:
          I grew up in a dangerous household.  As soon as I turned 16, I got out and eventually married.  My husband worked hard and even with three kids, we managed to make ends meet.  I strived to be a good mom, unlike mine. 
          One day my husband had a nervous breakdown, was unable to continue work, and was placed in a mental institution.  I couldn't afford the rent and the children and I went to a homeless shelter.  Currently, we are in a rental with a voucher.  Managing expenses continues to be very difficult, even though my oldest child eats in school.  She is misbehaving and I am afraid that she will grow up like my mother.  I want to break out of this negative, unhealthy situation that I live in with my children.  I just don't know how.

Read the story of Brittany:
          She is 24 years old and makes barely $110 a week at her job.  Her husband and her recently divorced.  They have a three-year old son and a six-month old son.  She and her children are essentially homeless and are currently sleeping in her father-in-law’s living room.  Her father-in-law has a small living space and would like them to move out as soon as possible.  Brittany has no job skills or a way to make more money for herself and her children.  She needs the life-skills training that a Transitional Home would give her, as well as the help to transition to a housed situation.

Read the story of Amanda: 
          She is 23 years old and has a six-year old son, “Aiden”.  She grew up with severely alcoholic parents.  She started drinking herself in Junior High School.  She stopped when she found out she was expecting a baby when she was 17 years old.  She was kicked out of her parent’s home for becoming pregnant.  She was able to finish high school before the baby was born and secure Section 8 housing.  She has been in minimum wage jobs ever since.  Recently, a friend of hers became homeless, and, feeling empathy for the girl, she let her stay with her with the understanding that it would be for a very short time.  Her friend was not looking for an apartment, however, though it was past the time that Amanda had given her to stay there.  For this reason, Amanda asked her to leave.  The friend then informed Section 8 of Amanda’s transgression in letting someone stay in a Section 8 apartment with her (this is not allowed).  Amanda therefore lost her Section 8 voucher.  Without rental assistance, Amanda struggled to pay her rent.  She soon became behind, and was evicted.  By the time her landlord took her to court, she had paid him everything that she had owed.  However, since she had been late in making her payments, he still did not want to rent to her.  This left she and her son homeless in February of 2016.  Amanda then fell off the wagon for an entire month and had just sought help for sobriety support, when, once again, her “friend” enters the picture and calls DHHS.  Aiden was removed from her custody and she did everything that was mandated to get him back.  She was cooperative with the Department and very proactive in her participation in services.  She asked for treatment in the family drug court and has adhered to all its stipulations.  She is willing to do everything to achieve the long-term sobriety that she once had.  She is dreaming of having her son return to a safe, healthy, loving, sober and capable parent.  However, her son is having difficulties in foster care resulting in the Department’s efforts to escalate his return to Amanda.  He is in a therapeutic foster home, but the change is difficult for him.  His emotions and behavior are not what one would like to see.  Since his mom is the one that knows best the tools to deal with him, including patience, a calm demeanor, a routine discipline approach and a consistent reward program that helps him to monitor his own emotions and deal with them in a non-destructive manner.  Though the foster parents are nice and have also been taught these skills, she is best equipped to handle him.  Amanda feels extremely guilty that her son is in this situation as a result of her behavior.  While working hard at all this, she has continued to work, but has no place to call home.  She is still homeless.  She does not want to look at her young son and tell him that he cannot come home as she has not been able to find stable housing for the two of them.  She needs the life-skills training, parenting skills and sobriety help that a Transitional Home would give her.