Jessica became pregnant while she was a teenager. After giving birth to her son, Daniel, her mother was arrested, leaving Jessica and her newborn with nowhere to live. Jessica dropped out of school to search for a place to live. She grew up in a family of domestic violence, drug addiction, and criminal activity and had no internal compass for leading a healthy and successful lifestyle. Her stay at a local emergency shelter triggered her memories of childhood neglect and abuse. She soon learned that most housing programs required her to be employed within 30 days. She had never had a job in her life. Haunted by her past, Jessica felt frightened, alone, and angry. She lost all hope in people and God. Only her love for Daniel kept her fighting for their future.
Jessica and Daniel are one of hundreds of homeless mothers and children in the city of Colorado Springs who struggle each day to survive. Single mother families are now the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. The typical family residing at homeless shelter in America is a young adult mother in her late twenties with an infant and a toddler. A family this size must earn $50,000 a year to achieve economic self-sufficiency in El Paso County. Jessica and Daniel’s unmet needs in the midst of their homelessness is one of the greatest places of pain in our city of Colorado Springs.
During Jessica’s plight, a service provider referred her to Dream Centers Mary’s Home. Jessica and Daniel were welcomed into the faith-based supportive housing community. After resting for several months in a safe and beautiful environment, Jessica began to regain her health and hope. She learned to trust again as she gained friends and a family. Her days were filled with life skills training and college classes while Daniel attended preschool. Over time Jessica could start to see that her dreams of becoming a nurse and having her own home were actually a possibility. Jessica’s love for God and her story inspire others!
More than 1.6 million children, or 1 in 45 children experience homelessness in America each year. (National Center for Homeless, NCFH)
Over 92% of homeless mothers have experienced severe physical and/or sexual abuse during their lifetime. (NCFH)