From Surviving to Thriving, Jessica’s Family Story
Read about Jessica’s family’s journey from surviving to thriving and how a chance volunteer encounter changed her son’s life.
A life-long DuPage County resident, Jessica and her five children fled domestic violence. For two years Jessica would work and stay at the overnight sites with her children.
“It was so hard to find a place that could house all of us on my lower income. We had nowhere else to turn and I knew we couldn’t keep sleeping in our van. We came to DuPagePads when my oldest child was 11 and my youngest was 5.” Jessica continues, “Asking for help was hard for me to do.”
On one occasion, a volunteer at the overnight site was playing the cello when Jessica’s autistic son became interested. The volunteer let Jessica’s son play. Jessica recalls, “The volunteer asked me ‘Where does he take lessons?’ and I said, ‘he has never had a lesson.’ The volunteer was shocked and it was a really moving experience.”
Jessica’s DuPagePads case manager advocated for her kids to attend the same school, referred her to legal services and provided resources for finding childcare. She attended workshops at DuPagePads Client Service Center and worked with the agency’s Career Employment Solutions program to find a higher-paying career and professional clothes for interviews.
Jessica’s family qualified for the agency’s new Tenant Based Rental Assistance (TBRA) program, which provides rental assistance, initial security deposits, case management and access to support services.
Her case manager helped Jessica find a house to rent and the family excitedly moved in.
With Jessica’s determination to succeed and her case manager’s continued support, her family has been in housing for over a year.
“Before we had our home, my kids were struggling with the trauma and uncertainty of homelessness, and their grades suffered. Since we moved in, they are all getting As and Bs.”
Jessica continues, “Since we no longer have to worry about where we will sleep and traveling to and from sites, my kids have the opportunity to join before or after school activities.
From sports to volunteering, they are socializing with their peers and having fun.
We were even able to find resources to get my son cello lessons…I don’t know where we would be without DuPagePads.”
Jessica’s family is one of the 130 families DuPagePads served last year.
Through your past support, we assisted 383 people in moving from a pad on the floor, to a key in the door.
Jessica says, “We feel safe and secure, knowing we have a roof over our heads and a home to come back to. The simplest way to say it is that life is good and we have DuPagePads to thank for that!”
We hope you will join in our mission and envision a community where everyone has a place to come home to and where families can thrive.
Click Here for ways to be part of our solution.
Click Here to read more heartfelt stories from people we have served.