Stories that Inspire.

Victories to Celebrate.


Luz, pictured here with her daughter, is now hopeful for their future.

Luz, pictured here with her daughter, is now hopeful for their future.

With her mom from Puerto Rico and her dad from Mexico, Luz is proud to be a first-generation American. Although her parents separated shortly after she was born, her dad, who won full custody, was a wonderful parent to Luz. “I was very close to my dad,” Luz said. “I was never scared to talk to him and felt like I could always go to him.”

Her school years were “pretty good,” Luz said. Her dad’s love and support gave her the confidence she needed to endure elementary teasing for having dark skin and curly hair. “The middle school and high school years got better,” she added.

After high school, Luz met a man and the two moved to Texas away from the security and safety of Luz’s family. They had a daughter together. “The relationship became very toxic,” Luz said. “He controlled the money and didn’t want my daughter or me to leave the house.” When Luz’s daughter was 18 months, they left with only the clothes on their backs and moved to Mexico with her grandmother.

Unfortunately, her daughter’s dad came to Mexico looking for Luz and the baby. “I was so scared that I locked myself in the house and would not come out,” she said. “I knew I needed to come back (to America) to get a job for me and my baby.”

After two failed attempts at renting rooms from friends, Luz started looking at shelters. “The few homeless shelters that I found were very scary,” she said. “They were dirty, with no doors for the rooms, so it was not safe at all.” Luz reached out to her cousins and together they found Home Again. “I was just about to give up. This was my last chance because I had called a lot of places and if they didn’t take me or if it wasn’t safe, I was just going to stay in a park.”

When Luz made the call to Home Again, she found comfort in that they valued the security of the family. “I was happy to know they accepted kids and required drug tests,” Luz said. “But I was in such a dark place that I thought it was too good to be true.”

All those thoughts and fears quickly went away once Home Again opened the door for Luz and her baby. That first night in the shelter was the best sleep Luz had had in a very long time. “When I went to sleep that night, I knew (coming to the Mission) was the best decision I had ever made. I had always been so stressed wondering where we would sleep the next night, but I was able to relax and my baby wasn’t anxious anymore.”

Home Again has provided more than just food and shelter for Luz. They are helping her plan her future, supporting her getting her Certified Nurse Assistant license and finding a job, as well as resources on how to manage and save money. “With the help of not spending my money I am able to save for an apartment,” she said. Luz is now hopeful for the next chapter in their life.

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