While many of us look forward with excitement to the upcoming holiday season, families experiencing homelessness may find it difficult to even think about the holidays when they are worried about where they will sleep at night. At UMOM New Day Centers, we are working hard to ensure families experiencing homelessness have a home for the holidays. Families like Kelly’s, who had no choice but to spend the holidays last year in a hotel room because rentals were just too expensive.

Meet Kelly and her grandsons.

Life hasn’t been easy for Kelly, but the last two years have been especially challenging. Not only is Kelly raising her two grandsons, ages 5 and 10, she survived COVID-19, and is also overcoming other health barriers including a disability from a drunk driver accident that left her unable to work.

When Kelly took in the boys, she knew it wouldn’t be easy, but she was determined to give them a good stable home. The family was finally on the right track and had been living with Kelly’s father, until he became ill and was forced to sell his house. Kelly and the boys would need to find a new home. Unable to find an affordable rental, Kelly and the kids turned to living in hotel rooms, which cost every dime of her monthly disability income. The limited monthly income and expensive daily hotel room left Kelly struggling to feed the two growing boys. As Kelly searched for hotel alternatives, she found UMOM and put her name on the family shelter waiting list.

Kelly began to panic as her bank account dwindled to nothing. She was terrified at the thought of living in her car with the kids in the middle of winter, in the
middle of a pandemic. And then, as she describes, a miracle happened. “UMOM called the day I ran out of cash.”

Kelly describes her time at UMOM as a place of hope. A safe place to figure out the next steps. Her case manager helped her navigate benefits from state and federal assistance programs as well as connected her to a variety of resources she didn’t know were available, such as counseling services for the kids and a vocational rehabilitation program.

Holding back tears, she said, “Everything I needed was right there at my fingertips, I didn’t have to go driving all over town to figure it out. It was right there on UMOM’s campus.”

Kelly moved out of the family emergency shelter earlier this summer. She is one of the first residents to move into Bethany Crossing, UMOM’s newest affordable housing community in Glendale. Each unit features a washer and dryer as well as a beautiful kitchen with a dishwasher and microwave. The complex also has a playground for the children, outdoor picnic areas, and barbecue facilities. It is everything and more Kelly and the boys could have wished for. She says she feels blessed and fortunate every day, and her grandsons love their new home too. “We get to live here. We call it our mansion.”

You can help UMOM continue to provide the same hope to other families by making a financial contribution today. Your donations make it possible for other
families, just like Kelly’s, to be in their own permanent home just in time for the holidays.

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

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