Laurie arrived at House of Hope at 21 years old with her three-year-old son Sam after six living situations over just two years. Battling mental health issues since she was seven, she had been homeless off and on since she was 15 years old. Living on the streets when she became pregnant, her baby’s father left her before the baby was born.
After Sam was born, they moved six times in just two years, living for short periods with her estranged mother, a teen family shelter, her father, and three different friends. During this time, Laurie cared for Sam, went back to school, earned her high school diploma, held various jobs, and began her first year of college. She was determined to make her life work.
“I don’t believe in lying around,” Laurie said. “I have to be responsible for myself. I am always working and trying to improve myself.”
When the sixth living situation became abusive, she had nowhere to go. She entrusted Sam to a close friend for a few weeks, so he would not have to live on the streets, and went to the Department of Transitional Assistance and “begged and begged” for somewhere to live. Laurie arrived at House of Hope one September, having hit “rock bottom.” She was greeted with a birthday party for Sam for his third birthday.
It took time, tears, and a lot of hard work, but Laurie has fought her way back up from the bottom. Julie, the Program Manager for Laurie’s shelter site, got Laurie enrolled in the Adult Day Program at the Sullivan Center to address her mental health needs. Laurie got back on medication, took a budgeting course, and soon landed a job and her first apartment. Sam is now thriving and happy.
“House of Hope gave me everything that I needed: They gave me the encouragement to get done what needed to get done, but they made me do it on my own.”