For the first time on our blog, we are proud to feature the story Tonya and her family’s experience of being homeless and then home for the holidays.
“I became homeless and entered shelter for the first time during the month of December. With me were my three children, ages six months, five and eight years. The shelter we were at was just for the daytime. At night we would get on a bus and go to a church to sleep. Every morning we would wake up at 5 a.m. pack up our things and to go back to the shelter, and every evening the same thing to go back to the church. It was a hectic way to live. Our family couldn’t get stable and you couldn’t feel comfortable.
“When Christmas came around this first year, it was sad. We didn’t have our own Christmas tree. We weren’t with family, and I couldn’t cook my family the ham dinner that I had always cooked. We were grateful to have a place to stay and food to eat, and for the generous presents provided by volunteers, but it wasn’t like Christmas at home.
“We lived in shelter for 10 months, until we moved to East Metro Place. Now, my family has stability. We have our own home. We have routines; cooking, grocery shopping and cleaning, doing homework and playing outside. We have goals and hope.
“The next year when Christmas came around, everything was different. We put up a Christmas tree and decorated it as a family. On Christmas morning I got to sneak presents under the tree on while the kids were sleeping. The kids woke up in their own home, in their own beds. Solid Ground’s Sponsor-A-Family made our Christmas even more special. I got to see the huge smiles on my children’s faces as they opened up the presents that were purchased just for them. We spent Christmas day playing, laughing, cooking together, and being thankful for the things that we have.”
From the board, staff and families of Solid Ground, we want to thank the community for all of the ways in which you support us. We wish you safe and happy holidays, and all the best in the new year.