She was trying to get a job, but no one could see past her speech impediment. They didn’t see a single mother trying hard to work to provide for her children. They didn’t see a young woman trying to better herself. They just saw a woman who struggled to get her words out. Every employer Latreese went to turned her down after the first interview.
Latreese told us, “I reached out to the program because I was in a bad place at the time. I wasn’t working for quite some time because it was very rough for me to get a job mainly because nobody could see past my speech impediment. I stutter.”
Finding a job was imperative. Latreese was a single mother facing homelessness. She needed to work. She wanted to work. She wanted to provide for her family, but the decisions of others and circumstances out of her control took her choices always.
Latreese is one of 40 single mothers a month who seek help from Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area. They come to us asking for help with securing affordable housing, help attaining a job, and often furthering their education to increase their earning power to be able to provide a better life for their children. These single mothers aren’t asking for a hand-out, they are asking for supportive relationships that will offer a hand-up as they do the work to build resilience in their families and a better future for their children.
“I’m never the person to ask for help. I always made everything happen with just the little bit of money I had and I made sure my children were well taken care of. I was also doing school while I wasn’t working. I was working on my degree so I can move up in the world and show my girls we can do stuff we just have to try harder. I wanted to do better for me and my children. I had to be patient and wait and then I found the program [Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area] and it’s been blessing me since. Just having people believe in you and have God by your side also you can do anything you put your mind to. The Bridge of Hope program is a wonderful opportunity to be a part of and I met some wonderful people and people that are so genuine and kind and just love me and my kids as if we were family.”
Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area offers a long-term program to single mothers and their children experiencing homelessness in Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties. Through rental assistance on a decreasing basis that leads to safe and sustainable housing, a strengths-based and holistic case management approach focusing on financial literacy, further education, increased earning power with sustainable employment, and building family resilience, the Bridge of Hope Harrisburg Area program offers single mothers a hand-up through resources that keep her family housed while she does the hard work of meeting goals toward ending homelessness permanently and being able to sustain her family on her own.
Families are housed in safe, permanent housing within 60 days from when they join our program. We match each family with six to ten Neighboring Volunteers from local Christian Faith Communities who offer a network of supportive relationships as mom works to reach the goals she creates with our professionally trained Case Manager. This three-way partnership between the family facing homelessness, Neighboring Volunteers and our Case Manager offers the support families need while they work hard to attain three main outcomes at graduation from our program:
Celebrating Lives Impacted Network-Wide in 2020-2021
Parents & Children Served
Average Days to Move into Stable Housing
of Families Experienced Caring, Friendship, and Helpful Connections with their Neighboring Volunteers
Stories of Hope
Laura was the first in her family to graduate from high school, then college. In her mid-20s, she was a full-time paralegal raising a toddler when an unexpected cancer diagnosis plunged her into financial distress. Told she earned too much to qualify for public assistance, she and her son had been living out of their car for months when someone mentioned Bridge of Hope.Read Full Story