Keeping her family together and safe is Sherley’s priority

Sherley and her three children have found security and comfort at Home Again, but the journey to get there has not been easy.

Sherley grew up in the Los Angeles’ Boyle Heights area. At the age of 12, her father was deported to Salvador, leaving her mom to raise her with the help of her aunt. It was her aunt that had the strongest influence in her life. “My mom worked a lot, so my aunt raised me,” Sherley said. “She taught me how to cook and clean. All good stuff.”

School had its challenges and Sherley became pregnant. “I dropped out of high school, but I continued working,” she said. “I’ve always been a hard-working mom.” Sherley stayed with the father of her son and together they had another child, a daughter.

The relationship with the father of her two oldest children was not safe. “I was with him for a long time and he was very abusive,” she said, so after years of abuse Sherley decided to end the relationship. However, Sherley then became involved with another abusive man and became pregnant with her youngest child, a son. She once again made the brave decision to leave that relationship for the safety of herself and her three children.

During these difficult times, Sherley still placed her children first, working diligently and providing for their needs. “I’ve never stopped working, but then COVID came along and I lost my job,” she said. “Also, the person we were living with got evicted and so we became homeless.”

Sherley and her three children were jumping around from one hotel to another hotel. Her children were affected by it. “It was really tough on the kids this last year,” she said.

She knew there were programs available, but it was difficult to get the help she needed to provide shelter for her family. With the help of Family Promise, Sherley was introduced to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. She was encouraged that she and her three children were able to stay together at Home Again, the Mission’s family shelter. “It is an amazing program,” Sherley said. “It is beautiful for families to stay together and get connected to a church, too.”

The programs at Home Again are not only focused on providing and finding shelter, but on setting people up to succeed once they leave. “They have don’t have the mindset to get you in and out,” Sherley said. “They are helping me to excel with many tools, like teaching me to save, creating healthy habits like making my bed, and getting a good night’s sleep.”

Sherley can see that God is in her life and taking care of her, she said. “God loves us all. He loves all of his children, and He’s going to make it happen. I think my relationship with God is only going to get better.” Sherley’s case manager has encouraged her too. “I’m actually reading the Bible,” Sherley said. “My case manager recommended I read “40 Days of Purpose” and it has just been amazing.”

Both spiritually and personally, Sherley is growing. She is working on her GED and in April will obtain her Certified Nursing Assistant certificate. Her children are also thriving since being at Home Again, she said. “They love it here. It can be hard on them, but being here makes it feel like a home.”