I first became involved with Brighton Center after I was evicted from a sub-standard apartment in Cincinnati. I couldn’t find stable work and didn’t have anywhere to go. I ended up living under a bridge with my 10 year old son while my daughter lived with her biological father. One day, the police offered assistance by connecting us with Homeward Bound Shelter. 

 Homeward Bound provided a safe place for my son off the streets. It was a relief to know Xavion was safe and sheltered while I worked to get our situation straightened out. 

 I continued to stay on the streets for a couple of weeks until there was an opening at a local homeless shelter called Welcome House. During that time, I was able to visit Xavion every day. Staff at Homeward Bound always made sure I had food and basic necessities. Staff also worked with me through case management to look at job openings, apartment listings, and made sure we had proper documentation to apply for services such as child care assistance. Once I knew my son was safe, I was able to concentrate on finding employment, learn how to save and budget, and secure an apartment. 

 Over the summer, Xavion was able to participate in Youth Leadership Development (YLD) where he had the best summer ever enjoying activities he never would have otherwise. YLD taught him to be more respectful and follow rules better. Despite our situation, he was very happy and secure. When we finally got our own apartment, Homeward Bound staff helped moved us in. Welcome House and Brighton Center staff partnered to ensure we had kitchen items, bath items, and donated furniture, including a kitchen table and chairs. 

 One of the things I learned about myself through this journey is that I am capable and can take care of my son and myself. I learned that people did want to help us and I wasn’t alone. 

 I am now stably housed with my son who is in school and doing well. I am working full-time and we feel so much safer. I know that Brighton Center is there for me if I need help in the future. No matter what your situation is, don’t hesitate. Go to Brighton Center and talk to someone. They may not have all the answers, but they will work to find someone who does.

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