Like so many of the people we serve, TaJeanna Eason didn’t expect to end up homeless. “My mother passed away before my 18th birthday, just before I left for college. I thought I was ready to go to school, but I was still grieving.” Ms. Eason found herself bouncing from family member to family member before she became pregnant with her oldest son. Family members eventually kicked her out—“I didn’t have a support system, I had to fend for myself.” Ms. Eason ended up in a women’s shelter, while her son stayed with a family member. When that family member turned out her young son, Ms. Eason and her son went to the shelter at DC General. Just when things looked their bleakest, good fortune brought Ms. Eason to Friendship Place. “The city came to determine which agency would be assigned to help me.” She was chosen to receive Permanent Supportive Housing, and was assigned to Friendship Place. Ms. Eason is still thankful for that assignment today.
Friendship Place was able to help, not just by connecting her to housing, but providing her with many household items she needed. “Friendship Place gave me brooms, mops, detergent, and other cleaning supplies. They even gave me my very first vacuum cleaner, all the items that make a house a home. Friendship Place gave me so much I was in awe!” “When you’re trying to leave a shelter and get into your own place, you don’t think of things like that,” Ms. Eason tells us. Friendship Place also helped Ms. Eason’s 10-year-old son by providing him with school uniforms and shoes. “These are things a lot of people take for granted,” and which children need for school, Ms. Eason says. She’s right—70 percent of schools in the DC area require uniforms for children to attend. Friendship Place gave her son other things, too. “He received a backpack and other supplies, and at Christmas he got a big box of books” from Friendship Place. Each Easter, Friendship Place’s generous partner Congregations also provide Easter baskets! Thanks to you, and all of our Friendship Place supporters, Ms. Eason is on her way to self-sufficiency. She has two younger sons, and works at a local bakery as a driver, delivering baked goods to their customers.
Ms. Eason is not resting on her successes, though. “I saw ways that they could do things better at the bakery, and have been giving them ideas. They’re about to promote me to night manager!” Friends like you make Ms. Eason’s, and all of our participants’ dreams, come true! Thank you for all you do for Friendship Place!