Because of you, a young mother can crawl in her bed each night and dream about her son’s future. She can spend her days caring for her young son and go to school and work.
Just a few short months ago, Desteni, a 19-year-old single mother, thought a shelter was her only option.
“It was right after Christmas and I was behind on my rent. I got served an eviction notice and I didn’t know what I was going to do and what was going to happen. I didn’t have the money to pay it,” she said.
While many are familiar with Catholic Charities’ Hope Street Shelter, which helps youth who are experiencing homelessness, Hope Street Outreach is working in the community and more than 20 schools helping youth avoid homelessness. Hope Street Outreach helped Desteni stay at home and is working to help her gain the skills to stay there independently.
Through her teacher at Brooklyn Center Academy, Desteni was able to connect with James Williams, a case manager with Hope Street Outreach.
“He was there every step of the way,” Desteni said. “If I didn’t have him, I don’t know where I’d be. Getting help from James and Hope Street has allowed me to stay in school.”
In addition to going to court with her and preventing the eviction, James works with Desteni on independent living skills, helping her gain the skills she needs to live independently. She’s learning about how to submit a work request at her apartment, learning about budgeting and James helped her open her first bank account. For a limited time, Hope Street Outreach pays a portion of Desteni’s rent.
“Desteni is an extremely bright young lady. Right now she has a lot of stress in her life. My job is to take away that stress,” Williams said.
After graduation, Desteni plans to attend school to become a medical assistant. She is not applying for public housing; she is committed to get on her feet and lead an independent life.
“I think people in my situation just need support, someone to listen to them. Everybody’s situation is not their own fault and even if it is, everybody has struggles. Everybody goes through stuff. Sometimes people just need a support system. Someone to listen, to help them to try,” she said. “That’s all people really need and want is someone to be there.”