On a crisp fall day, Bottney sat in her dining room and gazed toward her living room window in St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood.
“I’m going to put our Christmas tree right there,” she mused. “We don’t have much. It might just be a two-inch tree, but it will be beautiful!”
Bottney and her girls moved into a house this fall after finding refuge at Catholic Charities’ Family Service Center over the summer. The shelter provided the family a safe, secure place for them to stay and three meals each day.
When they arrived at Family Service Center, Bottney, 26, Desire, 3, Destiny, 1 and the youngest, newborn Dominique, had just spent a month living in the family car.
“Making a bottle in a car isn’t easy. Coming to Family Service Center was like a blessing from God,” Bottney said.
At Family Service Center, staff work to connect clients to resources that match their circumstances. Through connections there, and a lot of leg work on Bottney’s part, they were able to find a house they can afford with the support they still need through a partner program.
While challenges remain, when Bottney and her girls walked through that door, they were one step closer to stability, and another brick was laid in the foundation for the girls.
“I want my girls’ future to be better than mine. I want them to live a life where they don’t have to struggle,” Bottney said. “They mean the world to me.”