Packing up and moving was all too familiar for now 24-year-old Angel.
Since she was seven, she had bounced in and out of about 15 different foster homes in the city and Maryland suburbs.
She says moving around was difficult as a teen, but she was comforted in knowing “there was always somewhere to go home to at the end of the night.”
However, her housing stability started to crumble when she found out she was pregnant. “I was a foster child. Then, I became a foster child expecting one of my own.”
She was told she couldn’t stay in the foster home if she kept her baby. So, Angel made the courageous choice to leave her current foster home and move to Maryland to stay with a previous foster parent. After a year-long stay in Maryland, she and her baby girl entered a transitional living program in DC for teen parents in the foster care system. However, that too was short lived because she aged out of the program.
At age 21, Angel and her daughter were now homeless.
“This was the first time I didn’t have a roof over my head or a plan.”
“I lived among strangers and constant noise,” Angel recalled. “My daughter would say ‘I want to go home’ and I knew I had to hurry up and give her one.”They stayed for 11 disheartening months.
Three months ago, Angel got transferred to Community of Hope’s permanent supportive housing program and connected to her case manager, Jenny (pictured).
Jenny helped Angel find a place for her family to live and assisted her with getting a lease agreement. She listened to Angel’s goals for her and her daughter and helped map out steps to attain those goals. The first was getting her high school diploma. As part of our permanent supportive housing program, Angel works with an employment specialist, who helps her to complete online courses and look for a full-time job.
“Getting connected to Community of Hope made me feel like I had people who cared about me. I have a support system.”
Now, Angel and her 8-year-old daughter are stably housed, living in a comfortable two-bedroom apartment. Proud of her new home, Angel is working to save up money from her part-time job to furnish and decorate.
“The best thing Community of Hope helped me achieve was peace of mind,” Angel exclaims. “I have my own space to think, relax and plan – things I couldn’t do at DC General.”
Another proud moment for this mom: “my daughter made honor roll for the past year!”