Monica’s Journey

This year more than ever, many of us are thankful to be able to spend the holidays together this year safely and in good health. For families who are struggling with homelessness, their priority is finding a place to live. Going to the doctor, even if they don’t feel well, is often not an option. Without the proper care, even simple illnesses can become serious or even deadly.

Monica has endured a lot in the last two years. She was in an accident that left her in chronic pain and unable to work. She came to Phoenix from Iowa to live with her sister, who was evicted from her apartment shortly after Monica arrived with her daughter and son, leaving them with no place to stay.

Monica, a single mom, tried to find a place she could afford on her disability income while the family lived in motels. Unfortunately, the cost drained their savings, and they were forced to make her truck – with no air conditioning – their home during the hottest time of the year.

It was a tight squeeze for the three of them. Monica suffers from chronic back pain, and her 13-year-old son’s mental health disorders make it difficult to be confined in small spaces. Monica would sometimes scrape together money from friends for a motel room to give them all a break and a chance to get a good night’s rest.

In late June, Monica finally received a call from UMOM’s family emergency shelter; a room was available. Monica was relieved – no more sleeping in a hot and uncomfortable truck. Monica was thrilled to see on-site clinics that could help her and her kids with medical care that was long overdue.

monica clinic

Monica loves the medical staff at the clinics operated by doctors and nurses from Circle the City and Phoenix Children’s Hospital.

“They are so caring, compassionate. They are so easy to talk to and are genuinely interested in helping and making us better.”

She has received referrals to specialists for her back and is being treated for pain and a new diagnosis of hypertension. In addition, pediatricians monitor her son’s and daughter’s health closely, and they’ve had necessary dental work done by Community Dental Services’ mobile clinic.

While Monica focuses on feeling better and the kids recover from the summer’s experience with homelessness, UMOM’s housing specialists are hard at work lining up an affordable rental unit for the family.

monica family

Thank you for your commitment to help end homelessness in our community.