Joy has been homeless since she was 14. With a mother struggling with Schizophrenia and a father who drank too much and told her “to get over it,” she lived her teen years moving from one couch to the next.
When she found out she was going to be a mom, she vowed her daughter would not have the same type of childhood that she had.
But everywhere she turned, she was met with disappointment. Daycares were full and enrollment was closed; some were too expensive. She was denied assistance and SNAP benefits for months and lost her job when she couldn’t make it to work without reliable childcare. With no income, she was denied different housing opportunities. The anxiety was overwhelming.
That’s when she discovered Horizons and quickly learned she was not alone.
From the moment her daughter was enrolled at Horizons she was assigned her parent advocate, Toya, who provided guidance and perspective.
“Her guidance and support made me a better mother. It’s true when they say you can’t pour from an empty cup. Before I met Toya, I was exhausted and hindering myself by keeping everything bottled up and having no one to depend on.”
While Joy worked with her family advocate, Ava was making strides in the classroom. She grew and matured so much during her year in the toddler classroom. Now she’s in preschool and knows many songs, which Joy has learned so they can sing together. She knows the names of many animals and objects. She can count to 20, she knows all her colors as well as her shapes. And now she’s learning how to write!
“On January 29th, I finally moved into my own apartment. 2 months later I was able to give my daughter her first birthday party ever for her 3rd birthday. I’m proud that she now has a home, and a chance at a normal childhood that she won’t have to recover from.”