Yesterday we shared with you the story of Bella* and her three children, who currently live in UMOM’s Emergency Shelter. Today, Bella’s children want to share their story with you. You can read more below.

Rodrick* – 19

I miss how things used to be, when me, my mom and my sisters had a place to call our own. When we cooked dinner together every night. When we had money to go to the movies together. Things haven’t been easy for us but since coming to UMOM things are starting to look up. My case manager, Taylor, has motivated me and helped me set goals. I’ve always had an interest in cooking and culinary arts, so Taylor introduced me to the Workforce Development specialist at UMOM and they told me about the Homegrown Training Program (a six week hands-on culinary and barista training program). I’m starting the program in a couple weeks and I’m excited to learn something new. I hope learning barista skills will help me land a job at a coffee shop. Once I start working I hope to save up money and take my family to the movies again. I want to be able to help provide for my mom and sisters and have a stable home. My mom and my sisters have continued to motivate me and encourage me to never give up. I hope to go to college for video game design in the near future.

Aubrey* – 16

The people at UMOM can help change lives. When we were living on the streets, I was still able to go to school, but I was constantly struggling. I was being bullied by my peers and would get in fights. I just wanted it to be over, I wanted us to be happy again and have a place to stay. Today, I’m keeping my grades up and I’m involved in extracurricular activities like theater and the Boys & Girls Club. These things keep my mind off all that my family is going through and have been a great way for me to escape. My family has gotten me through my hardships because they were always there for me. My mom is always there to listen and make things better. I want to continue to do better and set an example for my little sister. I want my family to have our own place and I hope to get a job and start saving up for my own car soon.

Elizabeth* – 15

Because of my ADHD, Autism and Asperger’s I have trouble making friends. At school I’m bullied and made fun of a lot, which has made what my family is going through even harder. But since coming to UMOM I was told about different programs and resources that have helped me meet new friends and have fun. It has also been amazing to see my mom go to school, I’m so proud of her and how hard she works to make a better life for us. I’m looking forward to having our own place to live again soon. I love to draw and make art, I hope to one day go to art school.

Along with Bella – Rodrick, Aubrey and Elizabeth have found hope and started to rebuild their lives and end their homelessness.

It’s with your support that UMOM can help end homelessness for thousands of families, single women and unaccompanied youth.

If you have already made your gift to UMOM, thank you. Your donation will help provide critical resources like shelter, resources and food to some of Maricopa County’s most vulnerable.