Heather, a Community Sharing client, knows all too well what it’s like to need assistance when she found herself without a place to call home.
Heather grew up in a poor household. Her father overdosed when she was four years old. Her mother struggled with emotional issues while raising two daughters, working nights and often not earning enough money to cover the cost of rent, heat and food. “I learned early what it feels like to not know where you’re going to live or if you will have dinner,” says Heather.
All through her childhood she moved from home to home with her mom and sister. During Heather’s senior year of high school, through all the hunger and chaos, she found herself pregnant. Without support she just couldn’t finish high school. Long story short, Heather found herself in another very unstable situation and once again pregnant. She had to leave. No toothbrush, no blanket, no clothing, a toddler and a baby on the way - it was frightening.
With the help of a State Aid Officer, she was able to move to a tiny shelter for one night. “I then moved a lot from shelter to shelter until I got into a housing project,” Heather explains. She was learning to be resourceful, even riding a bike to work with two children in tow. She didn't give-up but instead struggled to pay her rent, her child care and purchase food for her family.
It was time for Heather to catch a break. It came when a cousin offered temporary housing, then taught her how to drive and introduced her to Community Sharing. “The caseworker at CS was very encouraging and helpful. When I told her my plans to ultimately go back to school she was so supportive,” Heather says.
Today, Heather is an example of how clients can change their situation in life. She is the proud mother of two thriving elementary school students, rents a mobile home, owns a car, attends Oakland Community College and works at two part-time jobs.
A story like Heather’s is what keeps CS volunteers working through the heartbreaks: working to find solutions for what may sometimes seem like impossible situations. And it’s your support and dollars that allow us all to keep on going for the Heathers in our area.
Ways You Can Help Families Like Heather's.
Conducting a clothing drive.
Hosting a party and asking guest to bring a donation instead of a dish.
Asking your family to donate non-perishables at your birthday party instead of gifts.
Participating in our twice yearly garage sale.
Attending Community Sharing fundraising events such as Trivia Night, the Golf Outing and the Empty Bowl Project.
Growing produce, in the summer months, to donate.
Telling other about Community Sharing's good works.