Maria was a guest of ours at the Mission for four months. Her time here at the Mission wasn’t easy, however she never failed to show perseverance and strength through her program stay and ultimately found housing with a friend. Maria is a single mother of two boys who works hard in order to support her family. She lived in an abusive situation for two years until she had the strength to flee. Eventually, she ended up here at the Mission.
When Maria and her children first arrived, she had a full-time job as a custodian, working from 3 p.m. to midnight in order to provide for her family. Somehow, she still found it in her to spend quality time with her boys in the mornings. Because of her job, she did not fall below the poverty line to qualify for government assistance, meaning she has to pay out of pocket for child care and other resources. But she worked on her finances, went to therapy, and received full custody of her children. Maria realized that due to her debt, she was unable to save a substantial amount for housing, so she got a second job in order to save for an apartment.
When we first met Maria, she was distraught from the abuse she had experienced, and trauma consumed her. As she progressed through the program and started therapy, she grew in her emotional strength, and in her identity as a mother. Now, she is flourishing.
Maria said that during her stay, she learned that she doesn’t need much—items don’t make you happy. Parenting classes offered tips on how to better raise her children. And she appreciated the safe space around her to fall apart when she felt overwhelmed. Maria is no longer afraid of making changes and ultimately she has learned that support doesn’t have to come from family members or friends—it can come from organizations that were built to help. Maria has shown us that no matter what your background is, you can overcome difficulties with hard work and passion for a better life.