Many paths in, many paths out
Emilio

Savannah’s Story

Savannah’s journey is unique, but not unusual. It offers an example of what survivors and their families truly need to leave an abusive and violent situation.  

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After Savannah’s partner started becoming physically violent, she knew she had to take her daughter and leave. But Savannah’s abusive partner had stopped paying his share of the rent for months, causing her to rack up more than $2,000 in debt. With this debt and a near eviction on her record, Savannah had difficulty finding a new place to live. LifeWire was able to pay off Savannah’s housing debt using flexible funds from our Rapid Rehousing Program — funded through a three year, $480,000 grant from the King County Housing Authority. With this debt off her record, Savannah was able to secure new housing. With a lease signed on her new apartment, Savannah packed up their belongings and started to move out. As she was taking her final bag out the door, violence struck once again.

Savannah's partner threw her to the ground and began violently kicking her. It was over an hour before he finally stopped. Savannah sustained serious injuries as a result of the beating, requiring her to get surgery to prevent her spleen from rupturing. The surgery has prevented her from going back to work for several months. While Savannah heals from surgery, LifeWire is helping pay her rent and put food on the table for her and her daughter through our Rental Assistance Program and Housing Stability Program. Today, Savannah is still healing from this violent attack. She plans to return to work soon and then will take over rent payments. Savannah’s journey is unique, but not unusual. It offers an example of what survivors and their families truly need to leave an abusive and violent situation.

Far too often, domestic violence survivors feel trapped in abusive relationships because they don’t have safe and affordable housing options. National programs report that if domestic violence survivors can’t secure safe housing after separating from their abusive partners, 60% will return to their partners and 38% will become homeless — living on the street or in their cars. LifeWire’s innovative and forward thinking approach to homelessness prevention has opened doors to flexible funding opportunities that enable families to stay off the streets.

 

 

Emilio

Emilio's Story

“It kind of breaks your heart to walk through these aisles, to see people living in these conditions that I lived in as well.”  

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Emilio, like many people, lost everything in 2008. After spending six years as a restaurant manager on a cruise ship, he returned to Seattle and found himself back at square one. For two years, he lived in a tent city. “It kinds of breaks your heart to walk through these aisles, to see people living in these conditions that I lived in as well.” Fortunately, Emilio learned about Congregations for the Homeless’ (CFH) Emergency Winter Shelter, where he stayed until he was able to enter the Year-Round Shelter program.

Looking back, Emilio attributes much of his success to his relationship with his case manager: “He helped me face things from the past that are painful, but you have to get those skeletons out of the closet to move forward.” Now, Emilio is a House Manager at one of CFH’s permanent houses. He’s responsible for the entire home and creating a sense of community for the men living there. He also works full-time at Nintendo.

photo courtesy:  Congregations for the Homeless

 

Ellen's Family

Why it Matters - Ellen's Story

Our stay has had a profound effect on the life of a young black and Hispanic man who was born to a single teenage mother and frequently labeled “at risk”—my son, Micah.  

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My name is Ellen, and many years ago I was a resident at the YWCA's Redmond Family Village. Our stay came on the heels of my choice to take on the challenge of starting life over with only my two children, my car and the hope of so much more for them.

Our stay has had a profound effect on the life of a young black and Hispanic man who was born to a single teenage mother and frequently labeled “at risk”—my son, Micah. 

The most daunting challenge of my life was being a woman who was given the responsibility of raising a man. I would tell anyone who'd listen that I didn't feel equipped for the job—afraid to go it alone, without a father figure for my son, not ever wanting to fail him!

But I wasn't alone. I found an amazing community of role models that served as examples of leadership and service for my son. They inspired him to dedicate his future to making a positive impact on our community and the world. 

When we left YWCA, Micah would babysit the toddler of a single mother who lived in our building so that she could go to work. He helped build transitional housing units in King County. In high school, he became a junior guidance counselor for younger children in the community and has worked at the Boys and Girls Club for 6 years. 

I think the best gifts I could ever give my son were watching me do what YWCA taught me to do. He has learned what it means to work hard, follow your dreams, and persevere in the face of incredible odds.

And the odds are against him—black and Latino youth today face unemployment rates of 20 and 30 percent, significantly higher than white youth. At just 19, Micah was just offered his dream job at Immediate Clinic, his first step on the road to studying medicine and becoming a physician's assistant. 

When he walks across the stage this spring to accept his certificate, he will be the embodiment of the saying, "It takes a village to raise a child." As far as portfolios go, I think that's a pretty impressive return on investment.

photo courtesy:  YWCA



portrait imageStability and confidence helped Annette - Annette's Story

"The stress of changing schools and not knowing where she was going to be sleeping at night had been taking its toll. After entering our program she was able to consistently attend the same school and received positive marks from her teachers as she began to flourish."  

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New Ground Avondale Park is a Transitional Living Program for young families age 24 or younger. Our program allows residents to stay for up to 24 months with supportive case management as they transition from homelessness to safe and stable housing.

25 year old mom “Annette”, and her daughter, “Tina,” age 9, previous residents of Redmond before becoming homeless, moved into New Ground Avondale Park in the Fall of 2014. When they entered the program life was unstable, making it very difficult for Tina to be successful at school. The stress of changing schools and not knowing where she was going to be sleeping at night had been taking its toll. After entering our program she was able to consistently attend the same school and received positive marks from her teachers as she began to flourish. Annette worked with her case manager and participated in community events, including dinners, crafts and gardening, helping her establish goals and learn more about healthy relationships. Stability and confidence helped Annette successfully complete her Certified Nursing Assistant training and obtain a stable job.

Last month Annette and Tina moved into a two bedroom apartment and report continued success.

Photo not available due to privacy

What can you do?

Invite your friends over to watch American Refugees and talk about it. There’s even a handy discussion guide!

American Refugees


See what else you can do

 

Contact Us

homelessness@redmond.gov