A cancer diagnosis turned Vanessa and her daughter Jonte's lives upside down and led to their homelessness. They stayed rent-free in the FT Short-Term Family Housing throughout Vanessa's treatment. Jonte' understandably fell behind and missed school while her mom was in the hospital. But she has made it up and then some. Today, they live in and hold the lease to their own two-bedroom apartment. Vanessa is cancer-free and Jonte', a high school sophomore, recently made the Honor Roll!
Neriah, at five years old, spent her days and nights anxious and afraid during her 11 months in a local shelter. She and her mom mostly slept together in the bottom bunk in a room lined with 15 bunkbeds. The lights automatically flipped on at 6 am. Babies started crying. It was chaotic and it's no wonder that Neriah had difficulty focusing and keeping up in school. Nannette and her Families Together Mentor Advocate made more than 100 calls to landlords before they found one who would accept the housing voucher that Nannette has because of cerebral palsy.
Once Housed, FT worked with them for another 12 months. We provided life skills and financial coaching for Nannette and linked Neriah to a Big Sister who she adores. They go on excursions to movies, museums and other fun activities. Now, more than a year after they moved into their new home, the tension and fear in Neriah's face have given way to hopefulness and happiness. She's a playful kid with her own brightly-colored bedroom. Her dimples are on constant display. She proudly shows off her recent A+ spelling test. Her mom volunteers in Neriah's second grade class where the teachers say she's doing great! Nannette says Families Together was their lifeline through it all.
Sasha was in her 7th grade class when her mother suddenly pulled her out. The car was packed and her two sisters were inside. Her father's violent outbursts had gotten worse at home and Sasha worried it would come to this. Her mom had grabbed what belongings she could and they were leaving that day for good. Approximately 25% of the families served by Families Together are fleeing domestic violence. FT partners with a local domestic violence shelter to move women and children into safe affordable housing that they can sustain. Sasha is now on the college track in high school and dreams of being a surgeon one day.