At 24 years old, I had a lot to look forward to. Although I was pregnant with twins and chose not to continue the relationship with their father, things were going to be OK. My mother assured me that together we would raise the boys.

SS Andrelle

On the day that my son, Nehemiah, was born, his twin was stillborn. While I was in the delivery room, my mother had a stroke. She passed away five days later. Having lost my grandparents earlier in the year and now my mother and son, it was more than I could handle. This is what started the downward spiral on my path toward homelessness. I had a job with the US Postal Service, but often called in sick or left early because I could not stop crying. My life stopped. My coping skills were pushed to the limit and I was unable to share what was happening with my employer. As a result I lost my job.

Knowing I needed to care for my son, I found a job as a substitute teacher assistant working with special education children. Working part time, I found it difficult to pay rent and soon I was homeless, taking Nehemiah with me.

After experiencing life on skid row, I found Good Shepherd Center. In July 2013, four years after losing my mother and son, I moved into an apartment at GSC’s newest shelter, Farley House. The receptionist greeted me with a smile and had a pleasant and welcoming disposition.

During the time that I was homeless my car was impounded because I was driving without a license. It was later sold and many of my belongings were never recovered. One of my goals is to renew my license when the DMV releases its hold in April. I am receiving counseling to deal with the trauma I endured five years ago. This month, I will begin to continue my education by taking classes at LACC with a long term goal of working in social services.

I am working with the Employment Services Coordinator and Case Manager here at Good Shepherd Center to restructure my resumé so I can pursue a full time permanent position. It is hard to find direction when you don’t know where you will be sleeping tonight or even next week. Now there is no pressure. At Good Shepherd Center you are given direction and plenty of resources to accomplish your goals. Chores and curfew are welcome. I feel a sense of self-reliance once again and look forward to achieving self-sufficiency.  

I am grateful that my son now has a safe environment to live in and is enrolled in pre-K . He loves it here and loves the people. 




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A Program of Catholic Charities of Los Angeles, Inc.