I grew up in the foster care system and did not have much support around me. I became homeless in 2014 and lived in my car with my four-year old son for several months. I sought help from Upward Bound House in May 2015, they immediately focused on increasing my income and assisting me in finding permanent housing. In July 2015, my son and I moved into our own apartment, UBH helped pay for the security deposit and subsidized a portion of the rent allowing me to save money for the future. Today, I have a full-time job and my family’s future looks bright and promising.
My 9-year-old son has epilepsy and he needs specialized care. The demands of looking after him as a single mother of three children put a lot of strain on my job. I was laid off and eventually I could no longer afford my apartment. My savings were depleted and for a while my children and I were sleeping in our car. I knew it was time to seek help and eventually I was referred to Upward Bound House. I was fortunate enough to secure a job the day after I moved in to Family Shelter. I could now focus on my work knowing I had a place to come home to where I could prepare meals for my children. The kids made new friends, the staff was so helpful and more importantly we felt supported as we moved on to the next chapter in our lives. I’ve had stable employment for the last 3 years and have been able to afford my rent through hard work and determination. This inspired me to give back to other mothers at Upward Bound House by starting a support group called ‘Mothers Strengthening Mothers’. I’ve learned that homelessness does not have to be the end; it can be the start of a new beginning.
Upward Bound House provided my family and me with a comfortable, stable place to live while I saved money and searched for permanent housing. I’m an Army veteran, and I was working in the film industry when I was still unable to pay my rent and became homeless. My kids loved the food at UBH and were excited to receive Christmas bobbleheads doll gifts through their Adopt-a-Family program. My partner and I both advanced in our careers with the help of employment specialists and Life Skills Workshops. Thanks to UBH’s friendly staff, my family successfully graduated from the program. Now we’re living on our own! With a newfound stability and success in my career, I hope to create a similar program to UBH so I can help out people in need. I also plan to donate to Upward Bound House in the near future!
While pregnant with my second child, I was emancipated out of an independent living program for youth. Having to keep a roof over my children’s head was very overwhelming, and I was also personally dealing with anger management issues. When I was referred to Upward Bound House, and we moved into our own apartment, I finally felt safe and supported. The kids loved the playground and the food Ms. Ramona cooked for us was delicious. The staff listened to my frustrations and gave advice, and also sent me to programs like Safe Place for Youth (S.P.Y.) where I gained extra support. I feel like I can accomplish anything now. I’ve definitely become more mature and responsible. My kids no longer have any barriers from me that will keep them from doing well in life. I’m so excited by this new beginning, and I plan on opening up my own business someday!
After my husband left, I didn’t have enough money saved up to support myself and my two kids, so we moved in with my mother. When my mom was laid off from her job, we were unable to pay the rent and we ended up living in my car for a while. After going through four different shelters, the Weingart Center referred us to Upward Bound House. Upward Bound House was like nothing I had seen before. Having my own space encouraged me to get back into a normal lifestyle, staying on track and taking care of my family. I suffer from depression and anxiety and while homeless I even had brief suicidal moments. UBH gave me a new sense of peace. Before UBH, it was also hard to find a full-time job because I needed childcare. The kids really loved UBH and they enjoyed saying, “this is our own apartment” and coming down for dinners with other families. Eventually, I found a permanent job and an apartment for my kids and me. My time management and organizational skills have improved, and I now see my family moving forward with more stability and less stress.