Unwrapping Hope: How One Family Ended Homelessness For The Holidays

Number of Children... 2

Ended Homelessness... December 2013

Before the Calloway family joined Project Hope Alliance, Noel, an adoring wife and mother, volunteered at our office during the holiday season to bring hope to the families we serve. Little did we know, Noel's sweet family of three needed hope brought to them.

In between wrapping gifts for our children and organizing our Community Pantry, Noel revealed to Team Kid that her family needed help with rental assistance. Her music production internship did not offer pay, her job hunt yielded little leads, and her husband Shawn had unexpectedly been laid off from his job. Although Shawn successfully landed another job shortly after his layoff, the brief gap in unemployment proved devastating to the family. As they fell behind on rental payments, the Calloways suddenly found themselves struggling with homelessness.

Chrissie, one of our dedicated case managers, met with the appreciative family to discuss their living situation and goals. Together, they developed an actionable plan to help lift the family out of homelessness. Through our Family Stability Program, we were able to provide rental assistance and help the family maintain their one-bedroom apartment in December 2013—just in time for the holidays. As she wrapped gifts for other families, Noel unwrapped a fresh start for her family.

With a safe, stable roof over their heads, Noel and Shawn were able to focus on their daughter's education. We helped cover costs for young Anya to participate in a local Boys & Girls Club after-school program, cheerleading, and Girl Scouts.

As a major step toward self-sufficiency, Noel and Shawn enrolled in a financial literacy program to learn how to better manage their money and plan for a brighter future. We also connected Noel with Women Helping Women, who supplied interview attire, helped polish her resume, and granted additional assistance to empower the motivated mother in her employment search.

Flashing forward to summer 2015, the committed Calloways had graduated from our Family Stability Program and were making strides. But with their second daughter on the way, they needed a little extra hope for their growing family. Their landlord would not allow four family members to share the one-bedroom apartment. Already approved for a larger apartment and possessing enough funds to cover first and last month's rent, the driven family approached Project Hope Alliance in hopes that we could help with the $800 deposit. We connected the family with Project Dignity, who generously provided $1,000 to cover the deposit and move-in costs. Now the family continues to thrive.

When our Bright Start Pilot Program launched in fall 2015, Anya enthusiastically enrolled and became one of two honorary first graduates. She will now embrace new academic challenges in our new Soaring to Success education program, which builds on our Bright Start model. Her determination and our support has uplifted her in extraordinary ways. Now at age 9, Anya is doing big things in her Orange County community.

Extremely engaged in our programs, the Calloways have attended several Project Hope Alliance events, including Angels baseball games; a University of California, Irvine (UCI), volleyball game; UCI's summer book fair; Project Hope Alliance holiday parties; and a trip to Discovery Cube Orange County.

This hardworking family's future shines, and we remain committed to walking alongside them on their journey to self-sufficiency, offering support and guidance every step of the way.