Glad to Be Home
by Dan Gregory, Strategic Communications Manager
“I can breathe so much easier now that I have a home.”
Lacretia has been sleeping better. She is able to focus on helping her daughter navigate her homework as she sits at the desk – her daughter’s own desk. Her studies to be a kindergarten teacher have started back up again. Lacretia’s life is so much less stressful now that she can get herself and her young family back on a normal routine.
Because she loves her home.
Just a few short months ago, Lacretia and her children were guests in Beacon’s Families Moving Forward program. The idea of home seemed distant, because it kept feeling like doors would close in her face. “I was able to adapt to shelter life, but I knew I could never settle,” she says, six-month-old Ayvah bouncing happily on her lap. “It was strange, learning to be patient with myself while still setting goals to move forward.” After months of hearing ‘no’, Lacretia finally heard a ‘yes’ from a landlord willing to see her whole story – great rental history impacted by a difficult pregnancy – and work with her. Just a few weeks in to living in their own place again, the change is palpable. “We’re all just glad to be home.”
Being home means there’s more time to bond as a family – and more silly moments to enjoy. “We’re able to eat dinner together – just us – and I can give [my children] the full attention they need. I feel like I can be ‘that mom’ again.” Those dinners are often whipped up by her eight-year-old daughter, who loves to help cook and is always ready to jump in and clean up. Family time in the evening is relaxed and fun. Simply having a quiet place to retreat to has also allowed Lacretia to reenergize and focus better. “Even if I get frustrated with the kids, I have the mental space where I can pause and think about creative approaches to problems. I’m not always tired and flustered.”
“My kids keep me motivated to keep moving forward,” she reflects. “I set short term goals, long term goals, and I get to check in with my [Families Moving Forward] case manager to see what additional resources I need to get there.” Having someone she could lean on while she was without a home was so important for Lacretia. And she discovered the strength she didn’t know she had. “I didn’t give up,” she beams. “When I felt like I couldn’t do it, I’d think about my kids. They were my motivation. Everyone’s got to find what their motivation is.”
Sitting on her couch, the windows open behind her to let in a gentle breeze, it’s easy to see the excitement and possibility written all over Lacretia’s face. “Being in this home now has given me a second chance, and I’m going to take it!”
“I love being home!”
Photo Credit: Dennis Sanders