Anastasia and Jonathan, parents of four young children, dream of owning their own businesses. For now, however, they're working to make ends meet -- and they're feeling fortunate to find Families Moving Forward on their journey from a substandard, poorly maintained apartment through a period of homelessness and into housing and our Keys to Success program.
Last year, the east St. Paul apartment where they lived changed hands and their lease was not renewed. They found themselves at a bus stop calling all the shelters they knew of, but there were no openings.
Four kids, November. No. Place. To. Go. That. Night.
As evening grew closer, they started calling everyone else they could think of for somewhere to stay.
A friend of a family member finally offered to put the couple and their children up for a few nights in his tiny apartment. Four days later there was an opening at Families Moving Forward. After several months in our program and many apartment searches – it is difficult to find affordable housing for six – the family is now happily housed and moving toward a more stable, prosperous future with the support of our staff and volunteers.
Anastasia said that Families Moving Forward was "a blessing. We had everything we needed -- access to job search tools, a computer, and shelter and meals." Jonathan calls it "a five-star shelter." He appreciated the program center's quiet room, where he could sit with the kids while they napped.
Anastasia's goal is to rebuild the housecleaning business she had to let go in order to earn a steadier paycheck at the Hyatt Regency hotel. for his part, Jonathan repairs and cleans decks and fencing on a seasonal basis - the up side of not working in the winter is that he can be home with the two younger children who aren't yet in school. He'd like to work for himself one day as well. So, keep your eye out for "Supreme Queens of Clean" and "Diamond Decks," and know that you had a part in making them happen.