We want to share with you all a moving story of a mom we helped through this mission. Jamie, a beautiful young woman full of enthusiasm, came to us in July of last year. She was 7 months pregnant and living in a home with her siblings and their children, and was told many times there was no room for a new baby. Jamie, who is no stranger to struggle, was raised by her older sister in the NYC area and faced many challenges during her life; she was about to be pregnant and homeless when we took her in.
Jaime, however, is one of the most motivated young woman we have ever known and was determined to make a stronger life for herself. This young lady would call me twice a day to take her to job interviews, bringing us all over town interviewing for any job that would pay her to work. She was ultimately hired at the mall, had her baby, and began part time work within a month. While doing well at work, she continued her last year of high school and worked hard with her tutor so she could graduate. Jamie always had a plan she was working towards so she could reach the next step she yearned to take. Last Christmas she moved on from Joseph's House and has been part of our Exodus Program, which exists to help these young moms successfully transition to independent living. She graduated from high school, has a new job, and is now taking classes to become a registered nurse. We are still in touch with her monthly and she and her daughter are happy, healthy, and thriving. Jamie is a true Joseph's House success story and we are so very proud to have her and her daughter as part of our family!
Natasha came to Joseph's House a year ago. Her son Jonathan was born in October and they stayed with us while Natasha took classes through Syracuse Behavioral Health. SBH had housing for their patients at that time and Natasha moved on last winter when an apartment opened up for her. As is the case with many programs this year, SBH lost their funding and Natasha and Jonathan found themselves with nowhere to turn. They are with us once again so Natasha can have continued support in finding God's plan for their lives. To this end she is attending weekly mass with our Missionary Dakota and has found the Rosary to be a way to slow down and find peace in her life. Natasha recently completed all her programs with SBH and was hired as a shift manager at Dunkin Donuts. Her very early hours make this possible only through the cooperation of other residents who will assist with caring for Jonathan until our daycare opens. We are family at Joseph's House and will do whatever it takes to support one another.
When asked what Joseph's House means to her, Natasha said:
Instantly a thousand things run through my mind. Loving, compassionate, understanding. Home, friends, family, God. It's a place to grow. It's an opportunity. An opportunity to for your dreams to come true. A place for me to grow mentally, physically, spiritually. A safe haven for my children and myself as well as the many other hands that touch this place. Joseph's House is my home for now but it will always have a permanent place in my heart. I couldn't be more grateful for where I have seen this place take me and to see where I will continue to go. This place is a blessing, a hidden gem. One I am happy to be a part of today, tomorrow and always.
Ashley came to us through her employer with two children, pregnant with her third from an abusive relationship. She worked full-time throughout most of her pregnancy while Joseph's House staff and volunteers cared for her children in our daycare. She was able to save a substantial amount of money because of our help and also learn about the plan God has for her life. She left after eleven months with her three children and was able to secure an apartment, daycare for her children, and purchase a minivan. She has removed herself and her children from the abusive relationship, has a new job and was recently promoted at her new, better paying job. She continues to live successfully on her own with her children and is involved with our Joseph's House Exodus Program. She is also our first Alumni Mom to be a spokesperson for Joseph's House. When asked if she was nervous about her first ever public speaking engagement Ashley said:
No, I'm not nervous, I'm excited! You guys have taught me a lot, and one of the things you taught is to have strength and courage. This is something I need to do! I have Faith!
Aubrey came to us in the summer of 2015 and was with us almost a year. She was highly motivated and worked throughout her pregnancy to save money so she would be able to secure a home for her and her son. She is now a very successful sales person, off public assistance and recently purchased her own home.