When “Jenna” found out she was going to be a mother, she vowed to put her lifestyle of drug use and jail stints behind her. She got help for her addiction during her pregnancy. The residential treatment program, Project WARM, let her baby girl stay with her after the birth. At 36 with a 6-month-old daughter to support, Jenna was clean and sober and ready to go back out into the world. But they had nowhere to go.
She turned to Family Renew Community’s Daytona Beach Residential Campus for single mothers experiencing homelessness with their children. That was a year ago, and Jenna is keeping her promise to herself and child, and making progress every day toward overcoming homelessness forever.
“Her little girl has changed her life for good,” says Laurie Archer-Dugo, who as Family Renew’s program manager in Daytona Beach is Jenna’s case manager.
Jenna is not letting anything stop her, including the COVID-19 pandemic. When the day care she was using shut down, she sought out private child care for her daughter rather than missing shifts at work in the housekeeping department of a hotel. After all, since her promotion, she’s been the supervisor. She has saved more than $5,000 toward her move to permanent housing with her daughter.
Relationships with her parents and siblings in South Florida that were broken by her addiction-fueled behavior have been repaired. She’s a sponsor for another person in the local recovery community.
“Everyone is so happy and surprised at the turnaround this mom has made,” Laurie says, adding that Jenna loves being a mother, and it shows. “The little girl is meeting and surpassing her milestones. Mom works with her every day on these milestones.”
Thanks to Family Renew Community’s supporters, parents like Jenna are able to continue moving forward on the path out of homeless despite the pandemic, and have a safe, stable place to be until the time is right to take the last step.