April was so used to bouncing from place to place that when she finally moved into an apartment at UMOM’s Parsons Village with her two young sons, she wasn’t sure how to fully unpack the boxes and organize her home. It was hard to shake the feeling that at any given moment she would have to pick up and move on.
“I can’t stop thinking like that, even though I know I shouldn’t be,” she confessed.
It took time, but the safety and security April found at Parsons Village began to chip away at the anxiety and distrust built up from her young family’s experience with homelessness.
The childcare services, employment programs and compassionate UMOM staff all helped build a supportive community at Parsons Village. April says her neighbors feel more like an extended family. Together they celebrate their children’s birthdays with BBQs in the playground. Her downstairs neighbor brings her coffee every morning to sip as they talk about their plans for the day. For the first time she’s not scared to let her 8-year-old and 4-year-old sons walk over to the community center by themselves.
That sense of security brought with it freedom for April. It was easier than ever for her to make physical therapy appointments and to go job hunting. She was at last in the position to make good on her promises to herself to save up for a car, start a data entry and analysis job that suited her number-minded brain, and focus on being a better mom.
Earlier this July, her sister visited from Austin, Texas after she saved up for months. Together the family dined out and zipped down the slides at the water park Big Surf, making up for years lost. And after a year of living at Parsons Village, with her sister’s help April was finally ready to unpack that last box. She wouldn’t be going anywhere else soon.
The National Low Income Housing Coalition is organizing a National Week of Housing Action from July 22-29 to call attention to those struggling to make enough money to have a place to call home. Read more about UMOM’s housing efforts here, and make a gift to support a family’s dream of permanent housing here.