“Finding a family member to say that you can stay with them for a while, sure. Finding a family member who will allow you – and your kid – to stay with them, well now that’s a different story.”
Unfortunately, this is exactly the challenge faced by Stacey Lindsay and her 10 year old son, Cody. For nine years, Stacey and Cody lived with various family members and friends without sufficient income, stability, or hope for their future. Stacey was in and out of jobs and felt the pressures that come along with being a single mother. “I was alone and he [her son] was the only person with me. He felt my struggles.”
She thought the struggle would never end, but she had to be a positive role model to her son. He was counting on her. Stacey knew it was time to take action. She shared her need for a home of their own with a friend, who helped her navigate the process of making this long-awaited dream come true. After a few initial steps, Stacey was connected to Community of Hope’s Rapid Rehousing program and in a matter of time her outlook on life and her future changed drastically.
Although Stacey admits that initially she felt the support that COH was offering to provide was too good to be true, she “just kept showing up.” In fact, Stacey never missed an appointment with a case manager nor skipped any of the deadlines. The stakes were just too high. She saw how hard the COH housing staff were working on her behalf and she wanted to make sure she was doing her part – and doing it on time! She found a 2 bedroom apartment with everything she needed and was approved to move in. Her case manager helped her with getting furniture and other moving logistics.
Stacey worked simultaneously to find a job that would enable her to ensure their home would be long-term provide for her family. She submitted application after application with the help of our employment services team. Finally, she got her breakthrough, in the form of a successful background clearance and a job offer as a Personnel Security Assistant in the U.S. Secret Service.
While Stacey no longer needs financial support to provide a safe and secure home for her family, she will hold on to one important part of the COH experience long past her official end date; the hope. This hope brought a new beginning and a lifelong lesson for her biggest inspiration; her son. “Now I can encourage my son when he feels hopeless. I overcame and so can you!”