The Blessing of Our Own Space

At the age of 20, Beth and her infant son moved into a shelter when her son’s father was incarcerated. They lived there for three years, while she worked and went to school to become a vet tech. Beth had never lived on her own, but as she neared graduation, she felt ready to move out of the shelter. Her case manager at the shelter connected her with Bridge of Hope. She liked the idea of having support from Neighboring Volunteers. “When I get into a bad mental space, I tend to isolate myself,” Beth said.

There are so few safe, low-income housing options available right now, but Beth’s Bridge of Hope case manager connected her with a property manager and advocated for Beth. At the end of the year-long lease, her landlord renewed it with no question and said he’d like to rent to more families in Bridge of Hope in the future. Landlord partnerships like this are vital in the midst of an affordable housing crisis!

Beth’s Neighboring Volunteers helped her get a washer and dryer and some furniture for her new place. They also planned game nights and other activities. “They gave me a sense of community outside of family,” Beth said. One Neighboring Volunteer has a grandson around the same age as Beth’s son so they would have play dates, giving her and Beth time to chat.

Beth graduated from the vet tech program and now has a full-time job at a veterinary clinic – a perfect job for her as an animal lover. Being a single parent is stressful and all-consuming, so she has focused on strategies to improve her personal wellness and self-care.

Beth learned that she is stronger than she thought she was. Moving out on her own was overwhelming at first but now, over a year later, she is proud of her progress and those milestone moments on the journey, like hosting her parents for dinner at her new apartment and the first month she paid the rent in full without Bridge of Hope’s rental assistance.

Having their own space is “one of the biggest blessings” for Beth and her son. “I can walk in here and know it’s something that I worked towards,” Beth said.

She hopes to eventually move to a place that will allow her to have pets and maybe one day even a hobby farm!


Nayr’s Story

 Nayr’s life had hit a dead end. Despite a full-time job, she was stuck, living out of their car with no prospects of improvement save one: Bridge of Hope. Participation would require her to let down her guard and...

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The Blessing of Our Own Space