Sasha* had a lot to worry about as a freshman in high school: staying on top of her grades, trying to fit in at school, and trying to have a normal life. Her family had to flee their home so her mom could escape an abusive relationship. They tried to survive by cramming 9 people into their aunt’s 1 bedroom apartment, but it became clear they couldn’t stay living in those conditions.
With no place to turn, they were forced to move into her uncle’s place, this time squeezing 5 people in his apartment. Again, the landlord found out and evicted them all for overcrowding. Being homeless is hard. It’s even harder when you are the reason your relatives are forced out of their own home.
Eventually, Sasha was able to stay with a friend while her mom and younger sister slept on a mattress in a cold, musty basement at a friend’s house. Sasha tried to do well in school, but her stresses were eating away at her: Would they ever have their own home? Would they ever have a real kitchen to cook in? Would life ever get easier?
Finally, Sasha and her family moved to Housing Families’ shelter, a clean, safe environment where they could cook a real meal. Sasha started going to Housing Families’ after-school program and worked one- on-one with a tutor to improve her grades. She met other kids who knew the stress of not knowing if you will have a bed that night while trying to finish your homework. She began to open up to her counselor about her fear and traumatic experiences, and life began to get better.
This year, Sasha is preparing to apply for college. It wasn’t too long ago that her future seemed so uncertain. Now, because of your support, she knows she can make her future whatever she wants it to be.
UPDATE: In our Winter 2017 newsletter, Sasha* was applying to college. We are proud to report that Sasha will be going to Framingham State University in the fall to study nursing! Congrats, Sasha, for all your hard work!
*While Sasha’s story is true, Housing Families has changed her name to respect her privacy.