A success story- YASMINE
Yasmine and her kids were living in their car and found Family Promise after calling several homeless shelters. Yasmine said that she felt so much relief after talking to Wanda for the first time. There was nothing that scared her about having to live in churches; it was a comfort to her.
She never experienced any rude families in the program. She found she enjoyed visiting and helping one another while they went through the process together. All the volunteers were very nice and accommodating. Yasmine is so excited that she has graduated to Home Stretch and has her own space and privacy. She is looking forward to owning a home of her own one day. Yasmine said the budgeting she learned in our Financial Literacy program, she will take with her for the rest of her life. One of the things she appreciated the most while in the program was the way Wanda lifted her up every time she was at her lowest. Family Promise gave her more than just shelter and food and she will never forget what we did for her. She plans to keep in touch with the families she met in the program and attend our Holiday party with the kids.
Nastassjia, like many single mothers, fought hard to secure a sustainable job while raising two young boys, 8 and 12 years old. It was her fourth day on the job as then new manager at a popular Sandy Springs hotel, when she received a panicked phone call from her 12-year-old. “T” suffers from sickle cell disease (a red blood cell disorder) and would occasionally experience horrible bouts of pain. “I’m hurting so bad and can barely get up,” he cried through the phone.
Natassjia immediately left work to go home and help him. By the time she arrived, his pain had worsened, and he no longer could get off of the floor. She immediately sped him to CHOA’s Scottish Rite emergency room, where she raced inside holding him- now limp like a rag doll.
No time for paperwork, he was immediately rushed back to begin receiving care from multiple disciplines. He was quickly diagnosed with septic shock, and Nastassjia was told that they were uncertain that he would survive.
Nastassjia, suffering in her own shock, took off running out of the ER and down the sidewalk, tears streaming down her face. Hardly able to breathe in her own hysteria, Nastassjia ran into a Pastor who was standing outside his church. Holding her tight and calming her nerves, that Pastor restored her strength assuring her, “everything is going to be alright.”
T spent the next 80 days in the hospital, 60 of which were in the ICU. Countless tubes and lines being taken in and out of his small body as he, the nurses, and doctors fought for his life. “He was proud of me for my new job and wanted to see me succeed,” she recounted, “so every day I went to work, I never missed a day.”
T’s battle with sepsis led to the doctors needing to amputate his left, dominant, arm in order to preserve his life. After T’s amputation, Nastassjia had to help him more while he recovered and her ability to get to work began to dwindle.
“That’s when we became homeless.”
Nastassjia’s only option was to rent a room at the hotel where she worked, and she and the boys began living there until the rug was pulled out from under her again. Her superior declared that employees were not allowed to rent rooms, and she was once again faced with nowhere to turn.
As luck would have it, her loss of housing timed with a follow-up appointment for T at Scottish Rite, where a caring employee shared the name and a phone number: Family Promise.
Nastassjia connected with Wanda Hunter, lead Family Advocate for Family Promise, and that is when the magic began to happen. Family Promise was able to use Prevention program funding to secure an extended stay hotel room for her family while they saved and secured a new apartment.
“And we are still there now!” She beamed, “My son now goes to school online where he uses voice dictation and he’s doing really well, and I’m still at my job at the hotel.”
And perhaps Nastassjia was put there for a reason, as every day she sees hotel occupants that are homeless, some from different states and some from Georgia just waiting for housing to come through. But now Nastassjia is empowered and states her desire to give back to others.
“I want to do whatever I can to help others, and who knows, I need a new church home so maybe I could serve Family Promise families there!”
The hope is found in the promise: Family Promise.
Canddise and Christopher
Minister Dave Dunn talks about volunteering with Family Promise of North Fulton/DeKalb.
Board President George Orlin talks about how Family Promise helps people experiencing homelessness in Georgia.