This month, we hear from Lacey who has just moved into housing and has been working with Community Outreach Advocate Sophie.
As I spoke to Lacey over the phone this past month, I am reminded of our first phone call together seven months prior. Newly out of a sober living home, she was living out of motels and seeking permanent stable housing for both herself and her two children. I recall hearing the stress in her voice, understandable considering the vast uncertainty in her life at that time. Today, however, as we talk on the phone, there is a calmness in her voice. She sounds like herself as she jokes about raising two teenagers and expresses her gratitude for finally having her own place. Looking back, Lacey recalls finding that sense of self and independence as the biggest challenge she’s overcome this past year.
Lacey had never lived on her own before, going straight from her parent’s home to her former husband’s home. After her marriage ended and she was coming out of a sober living program, Lacey found herself on her own for the very first time with no steady income or stable housing and unsure of where to turn next. “You plan your life a certain way and then all of the sudden, it doesn’t work out that way,” she reflected. Something I am often reminded of from clients like Lacey is how quickly one can go from housed to experiencing houselessness due to unexpected circumstances.
Lacey and I spoke on the phone almost every week for the past seven months, applying for housing and exploring resources in the community. Through Thrive, Lacey was connected with Rapid Rehousing, a program funded by NeighborImpact in which a tenant’s rent is paid in full for the first year of their lease. Lacey and I also worked together consistently on filling out applications for affordable housing–one of those housing communities being her new home at Midtown Place! When I asked Lacey about the ways in which she feels Thrive has helped her, she said, “It was much more than just finding a house. You have been my biggest cheerleader.” And while I am so grateful to have been able to walk alongside Lacey on this journey and cheer her on, I feel proud as I see how she has accomplished her main goal of finding independence. Despite many roadblocks and moments of frustration along the way, Lacey is the one who made this happen for herself and her children.
When describing what her life looks like today, Lacey immediately starts talking about her 13 year old and 16 year old who are now able to stay with her on a regular basis. She remembers her son seeing the apartment for the first time and saying, “Wow mom! Now I have a dad’s house and a mom’s house.” Having this place of her own is such a testament to Lacey’s newfound independence and her commitment to her kids. “I am now able to give them their own room. And I am really proud of that. Little things end up meaning a lot.” Lacey also describes a big emotional change in herself, now feeling more confident in her ability to create a life for herself and her family.
I am so excited for Lacey as she starts this next chapter of her life and I am honored to have been a small part of her journey. Thank you, Lacey!