Families come to Families Moving Forward through a variety of circumstances. No matter what path led them to our program, most families arrive feeling that they have lost everything. Grieving the loss of a former reality and seeking the courage to build a new life rings very true for Jesùs and Leslie.
Jesùs and Leslie’s family came to Minnesota from Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria last fall. With their home destroyed and having relatives in Carver County, the family moved, hoping to plant roots in the area. They navigated to the mainland, discovering new relationships and systems, as well as a long Minnesota winter, all the while trying to maintain some elements of home. Securing a stable home of their own proved challenging for the family, though, and they soon found themselves without a roof over their heads – again. As they were being supported by Families Moving Forward, they worked to become fluent English speakers, gain employment, and find an affordable home for their family of four. Jesùs secured a job and worked long days to support the family financially, while Leslie enrolled in English classes to strengthen her speaking skills and searched diligently for apartments. They enjoyed activities as a family, and, to the enjoyment of Families Moving Forward staff and guests, introduced everyone to the delicacies of Puerto Rican cuisine.
After roughly two months, the family was approved for a home they could comfortably afford through the Carver County Community Development Agency. With the help of community partners they received assistance with furniture, finances, and other items necessary to settle into their new home. They now live close to Jesùs’ job and look forward to settling into their new community. After arriving in Minnesota with less than 10 boxes of belongings, the family is well on their way to building a new sense of home.