A Cheerful Update from a Former Resident
Hi Ms April! Wanted to check in with everyone there. We are doing very well! Dan and I are both working at Sams. Kids are getting along great in school. I just wanted to let everyone there know we are still so grateful to all staff that helped us along our way at Family Shelter. Glad to see that help is available to those in need there. Have a Blessed New Year! Love, the McDonald Family.
Hopeful Once Again
Dear management and staff employees,
I, Linda Williams, am writing you all on this day to express my gratitude and appreciation for all you have been and done for my family and me. You all have pushed, motivated, and encouraged me to not give up and keep on pushing on. Upon entering the shelter I felt discouraged, sad, and hopeless until now. The life skills classes has been very helpful to me I have learned a lot and will apply it to my everyday life. I am sad that we are departing but, I will be in touch :) So once again thank you Family Shelter!!! Hope you all have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Years.
Zelda and Her Sons
Zelda was facing eviction and had already lost her car. Determined to keep her job at a local hospital she bought another car, but still couldn’t afford her rent. Left with few options, she prepared to spend the night in her car with her two sons. Fortunately, that same night, Zelda was directed to the Family Shelter through a help line. During her stay at Family Shelter, she was able to regain her independence and give her boys a better life. While working at the hospital, Zelda was able to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and now she works at a nursing home.
Reflecting on her time spent at the shelter, Zelda says, “I don’t know what I would have done if I didn’t have help getting back on my feet. We moved out of the Family Shelter the day before Christmas. We didn’t have a tree, but we were together. And I even got to buy my boys Christmas presents!”
Plea for Help
The following was received by the shelter in an email: Hi, my name is Michelle and I have two boys. Last year, I lost my job due to health problems and I’m trying to get disability benefits. I lost my job, my apartment, and my car. I have been signed up for section eight housing for a year and still trying to get it. Right now we’re moving from place to place like every three months, and I know that’s not good for my kids. My oldest asks me all the time why we keep moving and why can’t we go back to our place. I just try to stay strong for them because I have to. I guess what I’m asking is, do you have anyone that can help me get a place right away because they don’t deserve to be dragged from place to place. I just need a stable home for us like we had before, you know, so I can feel happy, please.
Thank You from a Former Resident
The Family Shelter gave my daughter and me opportunities that other people take for granted. Having stability—a place to call home—brings a sense of security, safety and peace. I am grateful that she could experience the caring hearts and helping hands. I now have confidence in my abilities and I am able to build a firm foundation for my family’s future.
I have encountered other residents at Family Shelter who express the same grateful attitude for the opportunity to be in a blessed environment. The financial support and hard work that go on behind the scenes to make things happen, expand way beyond just the walls of the buildings. The Family Shelter has such a tremendous impact on people becoming self-sufficient, that they, in turn become productive members of society. I am living testimony to this.
I currently work, and I am completing courses to obtain a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and my daughter is an advanced student and accelerated reader in the first grade. I know, without a doubt, that this has been possible because of my will and the Family Shelter’s ability to make a way.
Photovoice, a participatory action research method, provides an outlet for participants to voice their thoughts about community issues. In this case, homeless youth residing at Family Shelter in Columbia, SC expressed their needs and strengths by way of photographs and artwork. All captions are quotes made by participants living transient housing conditions in Richland One's school district.