This is amazing; this is home!

On a cold October morning three years ago, Kendra was dialing the phone, desperately hoping that the person on the other end would tell her there was shelter available for her and her five children. For weeks, Kendra made the same phone call, and for weeks she heard the same answer. There was no space for her family.

For the four previous years, Kendra and her family had lived comfortably in an apartment of their own. But when the landlord raised their rent, it was impossible to find an affordable space that could accommodate a family of six. Long waiting lists for emergency shelter meant that she had no other option but to pile herself and her five children into their car each night. “Being told ‘no’ is a rude awakening,” she says, “and you have to keep your strength as a mother to keep your kids going, so it was really difficult.”

They lived in their car for nearly a month. Then, on Halloween, Kendra and her children moved into Emma’s Place. It was the first Kendra had seen the townhome that she and her family would be living in. “I just walked in and said, this is amazing. This is home.”

Since that day, Kendra and her family have thrived at Emma’s Place. She has completed her associate degree in Medical Assisting and plans to return to school to further her education.

Kendra is especially thankful for the youth programming at Emma’s Place that gives her children an extra boost academically and socially. Her daughters participate in on-site social activities like 4H and Girl Scouts and benefit from after-school homework help.

More recently, Kendra took advantage of our new early childhood programming. She attends regular parenting groups where she learns practical skills for maintaining a healthy home. Her children also participate in classes that integrate many of the same skills, ensuring that parents, children, and staff at Emma’s Place are all on the same page. “The parenting program has helped me create a quieter home, a calmer home, more peaceful,” Kendra explains. “The techniques that [the Early Childhood Specialist] has taught us, like how to remain calm with your children, it’s created my kids being able to connect with each other a little more. It’s pretty awesome.”

Education has always been important for Kendra, and she’s proud to see what her children have accomplished through their own hard work. “They have grown so much since we’ve been here, and this place has created stability for our family, it's created a home atmosphere for us, and we’ve grown as a family since we’ve been here, especially with the programs that help the kids grow in school and education. That’s one thing I really value, education, and since we’ve been here my kids have been straight A students. I’m really, really excited to see what the future holds for my children.”

 

Posted on Wed, Jan 25 2017 3:24 pm by Tonya Brownlow, Emma's Place