Dana and her children have known homelessness in many shapes. When they found themselves homeless in the midst of a global health pandemic, the family slept in parks, in friends’ backyards, even in abandoned houses. At one point, they lived in a hotel far from Dana’s job that required an expensive Uber commute. But in January, they found Family Promise Union County in Elizabeth, NJ, and their stretch of homelessness came to an end. Today, Dana almost doesn’t recognize her own life.
“When we got to Family Promise, right away I started to see doors opening for me,” she says.
Family Promise helped Dana with transportation and meals and tapped its extensive network of local landlords to move the family into an apartment, ensuring the space had sufficient Wi-Fi for remote schooling during the pandemic. Family Promise also helped with furnishings and households necessities. Through a partnership with Avocado Green Mattress, Family Promise supplied the family with six high-quality mattresses, and a local volunteer working toward his Eagle Scout badge built them custom bed frames.
Dana and her family are steadily regaining stability, working with Family Promise on budgeting and planning. The landlord of the temporary apartment Family Promise found for them even offered them a long-term lease because they’ve been model tenants.
For the children, having their own home has been life changing. The kids have bedrooms and their own beds. They have a yard to play in and reliable internet service for schoolwork. They have a home. But perhaps the most significant changes are the things no one can see. Like how Dana’s oldest daughter was able to get ready for her high school prom in her own home. Or how the family can snuggle together on the living room sofa to watch movies. Or how the children are happy and finally sleeping well.
“This is stuff I’ve always wanted for my kids,” says Dana. “They’ve been through a lot. I’m just so grateful.”
This year, thousands of families like Dana’s faced life-altering challenges. Their situations were unique but they had one thing in common: Family Promise. Family Promise Affiliates across the country provided families in need with food, shelter, job search assistance, and access to critical resources. But we couldn’t have done it without the support of people like you.
Your support enables families in crisis to turn tragedy into triumph.