Ondrea C. never thought about what it must be like to be homeless.
For years, the single mother of three made her own way — working a good job, going to church, and trying her best to make a good life for her kids.
Everything was perfect. Until one day when it all came crashing down.
“I lost my job, we got evicted from our place, and we didn’t have anywhere to go.”
It was devastating. For the next few months, Ondrea’s family spent their time bouncing in and out of friend’s homes, crashing on couches. But the toll was hard, especially on the kids.
“They were starting not to do very well in school — which is understandable, because how can you focus in class when your home life is all over the place?”
It was a bad situation, and Ondrea knew she had to get her family out of it soon. But it wasn’t until she ran into a friend at church that she heard about a placed called Homeward Bound.
“I just said the first door that opened up, the first opportunity we have to change this, I’m jumping on it.”
Ondrea picked up the phone and called, and soon the family moved into a stable Homeward Bound home — made possible by generous supporters across the Valley. The moment she turned the key to the front door and saw her children’s faces light up, she knew she made the right decision.
“We’ve never had a place that had stairs inside of it. So for them, that was the big thing. They love Homeward Bound.”
With a stable roof over her children’s heads, Ondrea knew she could finally begin to rebuild her family. With Homeward Bound’s help, she sat down and budgeted her paycheck. Even if it was only an extra $20 — to just put it in her savings. And she watched how it grew.
“I actually have a cushion now. If anything happens, I know my savings are right there. And I’m living comfortably. It’s not like we’re starving or anything like that, we just needed help budgeting our money.”
The family’s good experience at Homeward Bound spread to their relationship together, too. Because of the stable home and support they received, Ondrea’s family have come together like never before— cooking, eating, and spending more time with each other.
“I knew there was hope, and there was light at the end of the tunnel. I just had to make it there.”