“Mommy, I cannot get comfortable, and Mommy, it’s too noisy to sleep in here.” Words you cannot imagine your children ever saying to you but when you live in a homeless shelter, these are the unimaginable statements you hear coming from your dear children.
Lakima has three children and life took a turn for the worse. Her boyfriend became abusive. There was yelling…always yelling. And shaming…who could focus on homework when the man you live with is telling you that you are worthless.
Her prayers used to be different. She used to be pray for her children to succeed in school and find the right group of friends. Prayers every mom has for her children. Now, she found herself praying for her children to be able to sleep uninterrupted and for her ex-boyfriend to quietly disappear from their lives.
Lakima had worked her entire adult life as a security guard. She would keep people safe. Now ironically, she could not even guarantee the safety of her own children. It was time to go and a homeless shelter became her only option.
Packing a few belongings they had in a garbage bag, she moved her sweet children with her into a shelter. She quickly fille
d out all of the necessary paperwork so she and her children could begin receiving services. But waiting felt like forever and hopeless. She woke up each day, thinking that today would be the day they could move out. But each day ended as the day before.
And magically, one day, she was placed with Family Promise of Greater Orlando. She received a phone call that she qualified for Rapid Rehousing and she and her three children would be moving into an apartment of their very own. No more standing in line to take a hot shower or receive a warm meal. They would have a bathroom and kitchen that they could call their own!
Lakima was assigned to Family Promise’s case manager, Ruthie Williams, who would walk alongside her as she began to work toward independent living. Ruthie would talk to her about saving money and finding a job and where it would make sense for Lakima to live.
Lakima worked hard to meet her goals. She found a job at a local hamburger joint as a cashier and she began to reclaim her life. Because of many donations received from supporters, Lakima’s apartment began to feel like her own. Her children now attend Ace Elementary and her 12 year old discovered he loved to play soccer and basketball after school with his friends. But this is not the end of her story. There is still much work to do in stabilizing her life. However, she’s on the right path. And thanks to our loving donor and supporters, amongst all the messy, Lakima found hope.