I first met Stacey when her daughter was only a year old. They were living mostly on the streets, with friends or acquaintances, or sleeping in libraries and emergency rooms for safety. Stacey and her daughter had to use the bus system to access anywhere they needed to be, which required bus fare or bus passes from someone. Stacey had quit using substances and had been going to the methadone clinic daily to maintain sobriety. Stacey impressed me by what an amazing and resilient mother she was to her daughter and how she would somehow manage to get food, diapers, and appropriate clothing for her during those times. Stacey also had trouble trusting systems and agencies due to her past experience with her other children and with others thinking they knew what was best for her and her family.
It took about 4 months of working alongside Stacey and providing consistency for her to be able to trust that I wasn’t going anywhere, and that I wanted to follow her goals and dreams for herself and her daughter. Stacey tried to leave the program multiple times when things would get hard or when housing was taking months to secure, but fortunately she stayed.
Today, Stacey and her daughter have been housed for one year and 6 months. Her daughter was admitted to Head Start after a few months of them being housed and has now transitioned into their full-time school program. Stacey still goes to the methadone clinic and is now able to take enough home to not have to go in daily. Stacey no longer utilizes the bus system and now drives her own car. Stacey works various jobs when she is able and when they will work with her daughter’s school schedule.
Housing provided the opportunity for Stacey and her daughter to start thinking about their futures instead of having to focus on only their basic needs being met. Housing has offered safety and privacy for them to be able to meet needs and offer growth in many other areas of their lives. Stacey and I now have a strong relationship where we both know we can rely on one another for honesty and transparency. We have a bond that is only created out of consistency and dedication to show up and to not only advocate for someone but to help them advocate for themselves.
-Horizon House Housing Intensive Case Manager