Patricia_with_boys The Face of Gratitude . . . Patricia

The father of Patricia’s three children (ages 6, 4 and 2) struggled with a condition that made his behavior unpredictable and aggressive. She had vowed to help him through his illness, but the situation became unbearable and she grew concerned for the safety of her little ones and her new baby on the way. “I made plans to move in with a friend, but when I found out she used drugs I knew I couldn’t take my children there,” she says.

Patricia’s mother used drugs, and she’d severed all ties with an unloving stepdad.  Her biological father had passed away years earlier, so when she needed them most, she had no family she could turn to for help. She had always hoped to give her own children the stable life she never had . . . but now they were homeless.

Weary, frightened and overwhelmed by the 195_CiUnMiWHKC14_0238thought of trying to care for her children while living on the streets or in her van, Patricia called our Hotline for the Homeless. She was overcome with relief and gratitude when she learned we had a place for them in our Family Shelter. We welcomed them with nourishing meals, safe beds and Christian compassion. And when Patricia’s daughter was born, we provided diapers, formula and everything her baby needed.

Patricia joined our long-term New Life Program for women and families, and through parenting, budgeting and life-skills training she’s learning how to better provide for her children—and help them break the cycle of poverty. She recently completed our career development class and will soon begin looking for a stable job.

“I’ve learned my homelessness had been coming on for a long time,” she shares. “I don’t want to go back out and wind up in a situation like that again.”