My family and I were renting an apartment in Waipahu, but the landlord didn’t want to extend the lease. We were staying at a hotel until we ran out of money and were forced to live on the streets. It was very difficult for us especially because my girlfriend is pregnant and my children are under the age of five. We feared being on the streets and getting into situations that would harm my family. It was difficult and exhausting keeping my children comfortable since we were constantly moving to areas of the island that seemed safe. It was hard to find an emergency shelter that could accommodate us. We needed help right away.
I had done some research on housing assistance and found out about Catholic Charities Hawaii. They quickly referred us to Family Promise where we received the support my family needed. Family Promise provided my family and me with our basic needs including shelter, meals, diapers, baby wipes, and transportation. Because of this, it was a lot easier for my family and me to save our money. During our stay we also had a case manager who helped out with our budgeting and saving, setting program goals, and professional and personal goals, like eating healthier and reducing my cigarette intake. Family Promise helped us find early intervention series through the Learning Disabilities Association of Hawaii and the Department of Education since our oldest will be attending school next year.
We participated in a financial literacy program and learned the importance of putting our needs before our wants. I also learned that I needed to be more responsible with my expenses. I learned how to budget my money, which has helped me save money for rent and other things crucial to my family’s well-being.
While staying at the congregations, it was nice to get advice from other adults and listen to what they had gone through themselves. The volunteers made our weekly stays delightful. My children also enjoyed playing with the other children since it was a bit difficult to make friends because of our situation.
Family Promise has changed our lives for the better. During our stay I was able to get a full-time job as a warehouse worker. They helped us get into a housing program and we are moving in this week! Family Promise has empowered me and my family to succeed so we do not experience homelessness ever again. We are vert excited and grateful. I can’t wait to have a place of my own to share with my family.