Last fall, Jessica, Javier, and their two children, ages 3 and 4, were evicted from their home. The family moved every two days, staying in motels, with family or friends, or in their car. Jessica was seven months pregnant. When the family had nowhere else to go, they turned to Cross Roads House.
“The biggest challenge that I faced when I was homeless was trying not to let the kids be fully aware of what was going on,” said Jessica. “Why were we in the car? Why were we moving around all the time? Why were mommy and daddy so stressed out?”
Jessica found that Cross Roads House provided so much more than a place to sleep and eat. Beyond a warm bed, nutritious meals prepared and served by volunteers, and caring assistance delivered by staff, she received personalized case management and participated in educational programs that helped move her family toward sustainable, permanent housing.
“At Cross Roads I had a case manager who helped fill out applications for housing, food stamps, medical assistance, and showed us budgeting, which was a big issue. The most beneficial assistance I received was the ‘Rent Ready’ class, which taught us how to look at and fix our credit history, how to be a better tenant, how to come across as a better tenant when applying for an apartment, and about our rights as a tenant.”
In April, Jessica’s family moved out of the shelter and into their own apartment. All her children are attending school or daycare, she is involved in several school advisory committees, and she has returned to school full time. Jessica and Javier continue to work with a Cross Roads House Housing Stability Case Manager, who provides support services in the family’s new home, connecting them with community resources, providing budgeting assistance, and making sure the family stays stably housed and does not need to return to the shelter.
“I do feel like we made the best decision for our family, coming to Cross Roads House instead of trying to do it on our own. We tried doing it on our own before and didn’t succeed.”
Jessica and Javier are enjoying their new home. “The best thing about our new home is it is ours! We don’t have to worry about what is going to happen tomorrow.”