Hope on 32nd Street

September 22, 2020

We all have hopes and dreams for our lives, whether it’s moving to a new place, starting a new job, or beginning a family of our own. On our journeys, we can encounter a multitude of barriers along the way. Those barriers can be anything from a lack of financial support, unfinished education, or an inability to identify supportive services.

Individuals like Lika may not know who to reach out to during their time of need. They may not know where to go or what questions to ask to find resources for their situation. It is important that we are able to connect with our community and let others know that UMOM is here to help.

There are families who urgently need safe shelter and access to resources in our community. Once they are safely in a shelter, families will receive direct support by working one-on-one with a case manager. This provides them a stable environment to build trust, develop skills, learn, and grow on their journey towards ending their homelessness.

When Lika and her daughter arrived at UMOM, they had been completely reliant on Lika’s husband to survive. Now, Lika has been able to apply for medical insurance, food stamps and find adequate childcare for her daughter while she works. With the proper support, Lika was able to rebuild her life on her own, gain employment, and maintain her own apartment.

Because of your support, families are able to follow their dreams and end their experience with homelessness. Will you make a gift today to ensure individuals like Lika and her daughter have access to safe shelter and supportive services? Thank you for taking intentional action to end homelessness.

With gratitude,

Darlene Newsom, UMOM CEO

Dreams Actually Come True

Meet Lika…


“It is hard for me to find the exact words to express my appreciation for UMOM.”

Born and raised in a small village in the Philippines, Lika dreamed of moving to America and starting her own life. After meeting an American man online and starting a relationship with him, she decided to move to the United States. The two moved in together and were married shortly after. Lika was excited for her future.

As time passed, Lika’s husband started treating her differently than when they had first met. He would become angry, lash out at her physically, and yell at her. Lika thought that she was doing everything right and did not understand what made her husband treat her this way. He began to take things away from her, having her sign papers about her property, forfeit her stimulus checks to him, withholding her green card, and even threatening to take away their child.

In late February, the police received a call about a domestic violence situation in Lika’s home. Lika and her young daughter stayed in one of UMOM’s First Responder units until they were able to move into a room at the family emergency shelter. While at UMOM, Lika worked consistently with her case manager to understand her situation and what assistance was available to her. “My case manager stayed and listened to me in my darkest hours and helped me like no one had before.”

Though there were cultural and language barriers, Lika’s case manager worked tirelessly to ensure she received all the necessary resources and support. The type of support included connecting with the Department of Economic Security to enroll in benefits, learning about and applying for employment, obtaining a low-cost attorney, and working through the court processes of custody arrangements and filing for divorce.

“I will never forget my time at UMOM and the help I received; I am forever grateful.”

During this time, Lika was also educated about the cultural differences between her home country and the United States to make sure that she was aware of how situations could potentially become dangerous. Lika participated in virtual job readiness courses with UMOM’s Workforce Development Team and accepted a position with a local retailer. After four months of staying at the family emergency shelter, working and saving money, Lika was able to move into an apartment of her own through the Rapid Rehousing program.