Mom, 4 children regroup at Home Again after tough year

Jennifer, who recently become employed as a caregiver, with her kids, ages 6, 7, 10 and 12.

Jennifer, who recently become employed as a caregiver, with her kids, ages 6, 7, 10 and 12.

Jennifer struggled after losing her mother

After a “hard, tough year,” Jennifer said she knew things needed to change. In 2023, Jennifer’s mother, who she was very close with, passed away from anemia complications and colon cancer.

“We grew up without a dad figure,”she said. “It was just my mom, so it was sometimes hard… But my mom has been on my side the entire time.

We went through so much. I love my mom. Everything that happened, she was there until her last day.”

Jennifer’s hard times were compounded when she lost her job as an assembly packer. With no source of income or support, Jennifer and her four children, Jonathan, 12, Jaideen, 10, Jaylah, 7, and Jose, 6, were forced to leave their apartment. The family stayed in hotels when they could or resorted to sleeping in their car.

The relief Jennifer felt when Home Again was able to welcome her family in was immeasurable. It was a hard year,” she said. “We were worried about what we were going to eat, where we  would go, what we would do. I didn’t want my kids to worry. We found this place and it changed our lives for good.”

Jennifer admits she was nervous when they first arrived. “I didn’t know what was going to  happen next. I thought, ‘Am I to be treated well? Are they (staff) going to be nice? Are my kids going to behave?’” she laughed.

But Jennifer is glad she came. “They treat me well here and my kids love it,” she said. “I thank  God every day that I came here.”

Jennifer praises the staff for making her feel comfortable. “The staff are nice, understanding and compassionate.

They’re always there for you.” Home Again has not only been a place of shelter and rest for the family, but Jennifer also knows she’s gained tools from the program to help her family succeed in the future.

She especially enjoys the parenting classes. “I commit to being better every day,” she said. “I never had structure growing up—no rules or anything. So, it was hard (to adjust to the program) at first, but I really like it. “When my kids get older, they’ll be able to use me as a good example.

They’ll say, ‘My mom taught me this.’ It’s a good thing.” Jennifer has recently gained employment as a caregiver, something she’s been aspiring to do for years but previously was unable to fully focus on. Her future goals include becoming a Certified Nurse Assistant and getting her own place for her family.

“I have a heart for helping people, always have. Now, I can continue doing that.”