Amber came to HHH with her 5 children nearly 2 years ago. She had left a husband who became involved with drugs and whose actions resulted in being evicted from their home.
Amber had no income and was unsure of how she was going to be able to provide for her family. For the 2 years prior to becoming homeless Amber and her husband had lived with his parents and during that time Amber gave over much of her parenting responsibility to the children’s grandmother. She was depressed and experienced shame and verbal abuse from other family members.
After a brief stay in emergency shelter Amber moved into the HARP transitional housing program. She soon found a job paying $11 per hour and she opened a savings account. While she appreciated her new job, Amber had worked with her case manager and realized that her best hope for becoming self sufficient would be to gain higher level job skills.
When she was in high school Amber had been an excellent student, but her years involved in a difficult marriage had drained her confidence. Deciding to return to school was not an easy decision. Amber knew that returning to school would mean leaving her job and taking a huge risk. Still, she enrolled in a training program to become a C.N.A. and at the conclusion of the program she was the top student in the class.
Her teacher encouraged her to take the pre requisite classes which would allow her to enter the colleges nursing program and assured her that her high placement would guarantee entry into the program which would start 1 year later. Amber found part time work as a C.N.A. and began to take the prerequisites classes.
During the next year Amber continued to excel at school and at work. She worked with a family support generalist from the local family support center and also began to receive counseling. Amber’s children participated in after school programs and were able to receive care from a relative during this time. This last summer all of the kids participated in summer camps.
Just this last week Amber began to take classes in the LPN program at one of the local colleges. Upon completion of this 1 year program she can expect to earn a living wage in a job with excellent benefits.
Amber will leave HHH in a few months and will have to use her savings in order to live on her own for the final 9 months of her nursing program. While she rightfully worries about her ability to provide during that time, she and her case manager have completed an income and expense projection which shows that she will be able to maintain housing through the end of school.