Being homeless can look different from family to family. In Prince William County, Virginia, an episode of homelessness is often living on the street, sleeping in the woods behind local stores or for Emma and her teen daughter, Hailey, [names were changed to protect their privacy] they were living in the backyard of a vacant home. That all changed when they were referred to BARN.
When Hailey and Emma arrived at BARN they didn't know what to expect. They had been surviving alone outside and were nervous about trusting others after what they had been through.
The family received clothing, food, toiletries, cleaning supplies (e.g., laundry detergent), new bedding and new towels. Their room was cleaned in preparation for their arrival and views of the beautiful yard and forest were seen from their new windows.
Working with BARN’s case management team, Emma quickly found a job, enrolled Hailey in school, and received a donated car as well as financial assistance and counseling to help the family stabilize. “Now I have a budget and I’m working to clear up some old debts and saving money,” she said.
Recently Emma shared the news that Hailey was accepted to a local university after working with BARN’s volunteer tutors to prepare for the SAT exam.
Blog by Bond Cavazos & Denice Jobe