During about 15 years of marriage, Sharon’s life ran smoothly. She and her husband had four children, and he went to work each day to provide for their family.
“He was the breadwinner and took care of everything,” she said.
Then three years ago, the couple divorced.
“It turned really nasty, really quickly,” she said. Her ex-husband didn’t pay for anything, even with court orders, and eventually their house was foreclosed.
“I really didn’t know what me and the kids would do,” Sharon said. “I didn’t think I could do it alone.” She married her husband at age 18, and never finished college. She couldn’t find a job and joined a leadership program in the area that helped her network and become familiar with the community.
She and her children were living in the foreclosed house and didn’t have much time before they had to leave.
“I couldn’t get a place,” she said. “One day I broke down and was crying and someone asked if I had tried Partners in Housing.”
Sharon, whose full name is not being used to protect her privacy, decided to call even though she didn’t think they could help. They told her to come fill out an application.
When she was accepted, she and her children had only a week to move out of their home.
Partners in Housing not only helps their clients, or “partners” with housing, but also helps teach them life skills so they can become self-sufficient. Partners in Housing provides up to two years of supportive services and housing for families moving from homelessness to independence, according to their website.
“I am a success story,” Sharon said. “I did everything they asked of me, and I actually found out I was so much stronger than I thought I ever was.”
Now, at age 35, Sharon said Partners in Housing helped her look at what she wanted in her own life and where she wanted to go and who she wanted to be. She is working as a bus driver and going to school to become a social worker.
“They empower you and help you build on your strengths,” she said. “I was so grateful because I don’t know where I would be without being led to them.”