In 2016, Frances and her daughter were living in a shelter for homeless women and children. Ryjani, 14, was experiencing bullying at school and feared becoming the victim of gang violence. “It was just not the way I wanted live,”she said.
With help from Catholic Social Services, Frances and Ryjani moved into a temporary apartment, applied for residency at Temple Landing and were delighted to learn that an apartment was available. Frances was so excited to move into a sunny, two bedroom apartment in a welcoming, family development surrounded by beautiful landscaping and close to stores and downtown. Most important, for the first time in a long time, she felt safe again.
Now that Frances and Ryjani had safe and secure housing, they pushed on to achieve personal goals. Stability allowed Frances to focus on herself; she followed a healthy diet, walked every day and started to lose weight. The Career Center provided training for Frances to become a Certified Nursing Assistant and she learned smart money management with counseling that enabled her to buy a reliable car, avoiding high interest loans. She immediately went to work for Life Stream, the company that trained her.The increase in income allowed her to reduce her Section 8, TANF, and SSI subsidies and become truly self-sufficient.
Ryjani is a senior at New Bedford High, getting great grades and looking forward to attending Bristol Community College in the fall. She is free of the fear of harassment and the anguish of being homeless. Mother and daughter are on the path to a happy, successful life.