When our families rebuild their lives, they often earn just enough to pay rent and buy groceries. With the rising cost of living, our families often struggle to afford much else including basic items for their children – shoes that fit, a coat for cold weather, not to mention toys for Christmas.
But these seemingly basic items are crucial. Lack of appropriate clothing, particularly as we enter the coldest months of the year, is one of the top reasons that kids miss school. How can we expect a child to concentrate on learning when they are worried about how they’ll stay warm during recess?
By missing school, these children face unfair barriers that can set them up for poverty in the long run.
At Friendship Place, we’re not just looking for temporary stop gaps – the quick fix band-aids. We want to set our families up for success and end generational poverty. We know the best way to do this is to set kids up for success.
Thanks to your support, when families join the Friendship Place community, we can offer more than housing. Because of your support, we can also provide children with everything they need to succeed – including warm clothes for the winter.
Jazmyne’s story tells a story of a mother who wants everything for her children. With your help, Friendship Place can provide this.
Jazmyne has braved many challenges throughout her life but has never let them stop her from pursuing her dreams. Jazmyne, 30, had a great mother, but her father was incarcerated when she was five and passed away when she was 15. “Mom did a great job as a single mother, but I was depressed because of my dad.”
Jazmyne left home at 15, searching for ways to overcome her depression. “I went from couch to couch, which was hard, but I learned independence.” She completed high school, and even attended college for a while in Georgia, where she lived for nine years. While in Georgia, Jazmyne worked as a nephrology nurse.
Unfortunately, Jazmyne suffers from a health condition – a clotting disorder. At one point she suffered a stroke and was in a coma. Health issues and problems with colleagues led to her nursing job falling through – once again she was without a home.
Jazmyne persevered though, returning to the DC area, and in a relationship. She had a home for herself and her children, two of whom have disabilities themselves.
That relationship turned abusive, though. Knowing she had to protect her children and herself, Jazmyne fled – “I left with my kids and the things on our backs,” she tells us.
Working with DC service providers, Jazmyne and her children eventually made it to The Brooks, Friendship Place’s Short-Term Family Housing Facility. There things changed in phenomenal ways.
“The Brooks is a godsend,” Jazmyne says. “I didn’t have food or clothing for my kids. The Brooks got us everything. Ms. Evelyn is amazing!”
Jazmyne and her children stayed at The Brooks for three months, and the team there helped her secure an apartment. “It’s very nice,” Jazmyne says of her new home. “I have everything I need.”