No One Should Be Born Homeless
Michelle has a college degree and held many successful business positions for decades. When her health deteriorated and she was no longer able to work, Michelle began staying at the DuPagePads Interim (Overnight) Housing sites. At the same time, her 16 year old daughter, Miah wanted only to stay with her mother, and not relatives, as she was pregnant.
Michelle recalls, “It was a difficult time. Miah would go to high school, work at a fast food chain nights and weekends and sleep at the overnight sites at night. It was hard for both of us to sleep on the pads, especially as Miah got further along in her pregnancy. Volunteers would offer her extra portions of food and we always tried to get a space near the door to the restrooms.”
Despite these challenges, Michelle continued to diligently work with DuPagePads and says, “My case manager helped me apply for disability benefits and connected Miah with Teen Parent Connection, but my main focus was finding us a housing program so that my grandchild would not be born homeless,” Michelle says.
When an opening came up in DuPagePads Supportive Housing program for Michelle and Miah, the two were overjoyed.
Michelle recalls, “I was so grateful. I remember vividly putting the key in the lock and opening the door, it was such a dramatic moment. I kept telling myself ‘don’t cry.’”
“She cried,” Miah shares.
“The apartment exceeded my expectations. All of the furniture looked like they were of a high quality. Everywhere we looked, there were these ‘Welcome Home’ notes made by children and gift cards. They even had a toy box with hats and toys for my grandbaby. I felt so overwhelmingly blessed,” Michelle shares.
Miah gave birth two weeks later, to a little boy Isaiah.
“His name means ‘salvation’ and he really is a joy for our family. He has brought our extended relatives closer together and is such a happy baby. It meant so much to me that he was born with a home, not hungry or without clothes, but surrounded by people who love him,” Miah shares.
Michelle’s health has improved since entering housing and has recently attended a workshop on how to better manage her chronic diseases through a free six-week series at DuPagePads Client Service Center. Miah has been taking her high school courses, working at a nearby restaurant and spending time with Isaiah.
“We have been through so much. I cannot imagine my life without DuPagePads. The staff is always there and available to listen. I just want to thank them for being by our sides, helping us to get where we are today. DuPagePads has really been a miracle in my life!” Michelle exclaims.
Michelle and Miah are featured in DuPagePads 2017 Video, “DuPagePads – Having a Place to Call Home.”
To view this video, Click Here