Where Dreams Happen – Diana and Gabriel’s Story
Last year over 200 children in our community did not have their own bed.
Here is the story of one of them, five-year-old Gabriel.
Gabriel’s mother, Diana, experienced head trauma in a car accident which caused her to take a leave of absence from work.
With bills piling up and no emergency budget, Diana could not afford to pay the rent, and ultimately, Diana and Gabriel were evicted.
They experienced the trauma of homelessness – fearful, discouraged, and unsure of where to turn.
“Going from working full-time to not having a home…it was terrifying,” Diana recalls.
Then they found DuPagePads, and stayed at the interim overnight sites for food and shelter.
With basic needs assistance and individualized case management, Diana received referrals to address her serious health challenges. Gabriel was given new school supplies, and his favorite was his own book.
“My mom says books make your brain strong,” Gabriel shares.
Once Diana was cleared by her doctor to return to work, she met with staff from DuPagePads Career Employment Solutions program and was thrilled to obtain employment again.
Despite this exciting news, the family had built up considerable debt and had no savings for a security deposit to begin renting again. Diana’s case manager linked her to the agency’s Housing Now program, which provided the first month’s rent and security deposit coupled with a year of case management services.
After two and a half months of being homeless, Diana began renting a house and Gabriel now has his own room and looks forward to story-time with his mother.
“Gabriel loves books! Recently he was looking through a book on Egypt and told me that he wanted to go see the pyramids,” Diana smiles.
She continues, “I’m so grateful to DuPagePads and their supporters. Having a home has given me peace to build my family and begin to follow our dreams again. You gave us hope and that hope is powerful.”
At DuPagePads, we believe that every child should live safe from fear, have their own bed and a place to call home.
We know once children have their own home, their health improves and they can begin to excel in school.
The good news is that DuPagePads is the solution. By providing housing coupled with employment and support services, we can end homelessness, one family, one person at a time.
“There is nothing like the feeling of tucking my son in his own bed, knowing he is safe and secure,” Diana shares.
It’s not too late to make a life changing donation. With you as our partner, together we can work to quickly assist people in moving from a pad on the floor to a key in the door.
As Diana knows, hope is powerful. We hope you will envision with us a community where everyone can have a place to call home: where dreams can happen!