“I hit rock-bottom, but I learned I’m a survivor,” said Sabrina. “I fought alcoholism and personal things in my life. I fought the coronavirus and survived eviction and living in my car with my children.”

Sabrina

Meet Sabrina.

Sabrina was proud of what she had accomplished after battling alcoholism. In the six years she had been sober, she had managed, as a single mom, to keep a good, stable job at a nursing home that enabled her to support her four children still at home. The family lived comfortably in an apartment where she had established a history as a good tenant. Her eldest child at home, 17-year-old Johnnie, worked part-time and went to school full-time, helping his mom with his younger siblings when possible.

While 2020 has been a challenge for many people, it has been downright difficult for Sabrina’s family.

In May, a series of events began that turned the family’s life upside down. Sabrina contracted COVID from a coworker and, after a brief hospital stay, was able to return home, while Johnnie took time off from his job at Subway to help care for her and his younger siblings.

Things continued to spiral downward as Sabrina struggled to recover from the virus. She was unable to return to her job and, with no income, she was unable to renew her lease at the apartment when new landlords took over at the end of the summer. With no money and nowhere to go, she and the four kids were forced to live in their car, spending the hot days in libraries or churches to keep cool, charge their phones, and do schoolwork while Sabrina searched for work and a new apartment. At night, the family slept in their car, wrapped in their love for each other.

Johnnie returned to work to bring in money for food and other necessities, becoming his family’s sole provider. For a teenager whose only worries should be schoolwork and connecting with friends, having to worry about a sick mom and care for his younger siblings is a heavy burden to bear. Johnnie was born with a generous heart and determined soul, feeling it was his responsibility to help out when needed.

“As the oldest at home, I knew I had to step up for my younger siblings. I was happy to do so,” said Johnnie.

Exhausted and still recovering from the effects of COVID, Sabrina reached out to UMOM.

The family arrived at the emergency shelter at the end of September. Not only do they have a place to sleep at night, but Sabrina and her children have also been able to get the medical care they need with UMOM’s on-campus health clinic. Sabrina is making use of every available service UMOM offers: housing specialists are helping her find a new affordable place to live, and the workforce development team is assisting in her search for a job. Sabrina also takes advantage of the on-campus COVID testing, determined to not get sick again.

sabrina2“I hit rock-bottom, but I learned I’m a survivor,” said Sabrina. “I fought alcoholism and personal things in my life. I fought the coronavirus and survived eviction and living in my car with my children.”

Since their arrival at UMOM, Johnnie and his family appreciate having a safe place to sleep, hot meals to eat every day, and resources to help the family get back on their feet. Johnnie can now go back to doing what he should be focused on, studying for exams, going to online classes, working when he can, and staying on track for graduation.

Because of the generous financial contributions from people like you, Johnnie and his mom are no longer trying to do it all on their own. Your dollars help families like Sabrina’s and Johnnie’s find a way to a more stable life, good jobs, and permanent housing. When you make a commitment to UMOM, you belong. You make a difference. You are a part of something bigger. Your contributions make these same life-altering statements to families experiencing homelessness – that they matter, they belong, and they are a part of our UMOM family.

I WANT TO HELP!