With The Loss Of A Spouse, This Mother Started Over

Number of Children… 5

Ended Homelessness… July 20, 2014

“F”, a mother of five children, found her life capsized overnight. When her husband unexpectedly passed away, she was left in charge of keeping her large family afloat and intact. Through the pain came growth, and now the worst of times is behind them. Their transition to a new apartment and mind space is a beautiful story. Here’s the full narrative from Ana, one of our purpose-driven case managers:

F and her husband considered themselves a good team, so when F’s husband passed away in February of 2014, her world was truly shattered. Being a newly-widowed mother of five, she did all she could to provide a “roof” over her family’s head. She worked full-time and had a hefty motel bill to pay: It cost $2,000/month to live in a Santa Ana motel, as motel rules mandated that F rent two separate rooms for the family of six!  This loving mother and her kids were experiencing profound grief and loss, while also struggling to make ends meet.

Things then went from bad to worse: their housing - the motel - went out of business and shuttered their doors. F found herself motel hunting, but became wracked with safety concerns when viewing her options. She made enough money to afford rent, but with five children and summertime approaching, her overtime hours would not offset childcare costs. She was facing obstacles that have led others into a homeless environment…

F turned a heartbreaking situation into a new and amazing opportunity for her family.

F walked into Project Hope Alliance on a foggy day in June, with a hopeful attitude despite her rather grim reality. The first issue we worked to tackle was summer childcare. We stepped in with educational and fun summer activities for the children at UCI and provided (paid for) childcare at the Boys & Girls Club. Mom used this time to work overtime hours and save up for an apartment. Her case manager Ana worked with partner organizations to get her approved for a safe new apartment and provide first-month’s rent and deposit.

F turned a heartbreaking situation into a new and amazing opportunity for her family. Her motel days are over and, according to her five kids, are not going to be missed anytime soon.  Now her energy goes into supporting her children’s education, rather than trying to manage the safety of her kids at the motel.  It has been a pleasure working with the F family and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store for them. And we strive to be with them every step of the way.