Homes for Students Helps a Homeless Collegiate Single Mother Move Into Her Own Apartment!
By: Brett Davis
Everett – Two weeks ago, Jennifer didn't know where to study, where her son could play safely, or even where she would sleep. She spent her days juggling work, motherhood and a full class schedule at Edmonds Community College. Her nightly routine consisted of traveling between her vehicle, the cramped apartments of friends and family and a local woman's shelter. Today however, thanks to Homes for Students of Higher Education and the YWCA, Jennifer and her son are enjoying their own apartment and all of the opportunities for success that it brings! Homes for Students of Higher Education would like to thank the YWCA for providing subsidized housing in our community and helping Jennifer along her path to success!
“I was supporting my younger sister, my son and myself, until I suffered a back injury and lost my job in the medical field. After that things started to go one by one.” Says Jennifer. In the dead of winter and with her living situation jeopardizing her academic success, Jennifer was beginning to feel overwhelmed. She wasn't alone, According to estimates sourced from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, there are 58,000 homeless students across the country.
The sky was carved with dark clouds and swift winds, yet the rain held on moving day, as Jennifer, a few student volunteers and I loaded the truck high with toys, books and furniture. As we worked, I asked Jennifer what the new apartment meant to her. “When we were at the shelter, my son kept saying, I want to go home, I want to go home. It was hard to tell him that we couldn't go home yet. So for me, this move means an opportunity to break the cycle of poverty. I grew up poor, and I can’t change the past. But now I see that I have the power to change the next generation. To make sure my son never has to sleep in a lice ridden shelter. To make that happen I need to finish my education and get a good career. With this apartment my son and I both have a structure to base our success on.”
As day turned to an early winter night, the play pen met the carpet, the desk finally got up the stairs and the coffee maker came to life on a new counter top, Jennifer breathed a sigh of relief. Now she's motivated as ever, with a roof over her head forming the foundation of her future success. “Thank you so much! I really appreciate it. I've made it my goal to make it better. It has to get better. For him.”
Jennifer is currently pursuing a degree in the legal field, and serves as a wellness programmer and peer mentor at Edmonds Community College. Her success story is a prime example of what we here at Homes for Students seek to create. Do you share our vision of fostering opportunities for our region's youth to pursue their academic dreams? I encourage you to experience the satisfaction of helping others by lending a hand with us. Visit our website: Homesforstudents.org, to donate or learn how you can earn college credit for volunteering as an intern! Help us build a place where not only students like Jennifer but also their dreams can call home. Why not you?
Homes for Students of Higher Education