Bright Kids Get A Bright Start

Number of children... 4

Ended homelessness... September 2015

When Juan and Mariana Morales' four children walked into their new, furnished apartment, they literally jumped for joy. After struggling with homelessness for six distressing years in Orange County, the family of six finally had a safe, stable home to call their own. During those six challenging years, the family crammed their lives into a shared apartment with another family of six.

A single apartment housing 12 people. 

Before the family found themselves faced with homelessness, Juan worked hard to support his family, including his wife, Mariana, and four children, ages 11 months, 2.5, 5, and 9. A work-related injury cost him his job, and even with disability income, the family could not afford rent.

Although living with another family provided extra support and emotional stability for the children, the congested space and lack of beds took its toll on the Morales family. The kids' educations, notably in both math and reading, suffered, and they knew they needed help.

A single apartment housing 12 people.

Project Hope Alliance partnered with the dedicated family to develop a goal-driven plan to rapidly rehouse the family and supplement the kids' education. One of our committed case managers, Peggy, actively listened to the family's needs and implemented customized solutions and guidance. Generous gifts from our donors allowed us to financially support the Morales' move into an apartment, which was furnished thanks to a collaboration with a gracious furniture company—including a flatscreen TV and beds for each family member. When we helped pay the rental deposit, it gave the family a sense of a fresh beginning. 

The Morales family's fresh beginning dawned on September 4, 2015, when they ended homelessness.

"The children are so happy!" beams Peggy. They are currently receiving tutoring services at their school, and have also enrolled in Project Hope Alliance's new Bright Start pilot program, which pairs elementary-age children with supportive mentors who help guide them through an adaptive learning experience customized to their individual abilities and needs. As part of the innovative program, each child receives a laptop equipped with Waterford Early Learning academic curriculum, allowing them to take their education with them wherever they go.

In addition to continued case management support services, Project Hope Alliance has also assisted the Morales family with obtaining household appliances, nourishment from our food pantry, gas cards, community resources, and hope—guiding them from homeless to self-sufficient.

Emotional wellness within the family has also been restored and uplifted, notably Juan's outlook on his family's future and ability to provide for them. Prior to regaining his self-confidence, the husband and father of four felt discouraged and hopeless. Now he feels supported and can better focus his energy on healing and returning to work.

As a special token of appreciation, the children made a thank you card for the furniture company, for not only furnishing their home, but also outfitting their futures for success.