First the TV. Then the gaming system. "Juanita" and her teenage son could feel their home slipping away as its electronic comforts disappeared one by one — pawned for drug money by a husband and father too consumed by addiction to worry about keeping a roof over his family’s heads.
Once the luxuries were gone and the credit cards were maxed, Juanita tried desperately to hold onto the necessities. She learned to sleep with her debit card and her car keys, so there would be money to pay the rent and a way for her to get to work.
When the inevitable eviction came, Juanita and her husband parted ways. With no money to pay for the upfront costs of moving into a new place, she and her son became boarders in the home of one friend, then another, then another, for two years, until they ran out of places to go. In June, they found Family Renew Community’s Daytona Beach Residential Campus for single mothers experiencing homelessness with their children.
With no rent or utility costs to pay and expert guidance from her case manager, Juanita is using more of the earnings from her medical billing job to get out from under the financial burden that followed her into homelessness. She’s systematically paying off her credit cards and building savings. By the end of the 2018-19 school year, she and her son, now 16, will be ready to move back out their own into permanent, affordable housing, says Laurie Archer-Dugo, Family Renew’s program manager for the Daytona Beach campus.
“She’s getting rid of the debt, and they’re both able to breathe again,” she says.
Please help us write more happy endings like this for families experiencing homelessness with a year-end donation to Family Renew Community.