What’s Happening at Solid Ground

Lu’s Story

Lu was working in the hospitality industry when she was struck by a car that left her in chronic pain, disabled, and unable to return to work. The sudden loss of income caused her to lose her home and she moved with her four young children into a hotel, quickly depleting her savings. “Keep your bags packed,” she’d tell the kids, never knowing when the money would run out. After living for a year in hotels, Lu moved with her children into emergency shelter. “When you’ve been homeless” Lu says, “you look at people differently. You realize that everyone is going through something.”

Lu learned about Solid Ground while she was staying with her children at the shelter. “It was a God-send” she exclaims. “I was on the waiting list for about two weeks when we learned we got in.” In November of 2011, Lu and her four children moved into an apartment at Solid Ground’s East Metro Place 2, which provides permanent supportive housing to families with children who have experienced long-term homelessness. “It was right before the holidays,” Lu recalls, “and the kids were so excited to celebrate in their new home.”

Lu participated in everything that Solid Ground has to offer- budgeting and tenant classes, coat drives, Holiday Express, community meals, and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy). Led by Solid Ground’s Director of Programs, DBT provides participants with new skills to manage painful emotions and decrease conflict in relationships. “I loved DBT!” Lu exclaims. “It helped me get out of survival mode.”

“My goal has always been to get what I need and move on,” Lu says as she returns the keys to the apartment that has been her family’s home for the past ten years. “I want to give the next person the same opportunity I had to get back on my feet.” She took business classes at Century College while her children benefited from Solid Ground’s after-school tutoring program. “The volunteer tutors really are wonderful! They helped my son get his grades up and stay up!” Additionally, Lu sat on the East Metro Place Resident’s Council and encouraged other families to take advantage of Solid Ground’s holistic programming that she referred to as “life changing.”

This month, Lu is moving out of East Metro Place and into a five-bedroom house in the suburbs using her Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher. She is thrilled to have enough room for all of her children and grandchildren. “I’ve always wanted my own house,” Lu recalls. “Solid Ground made it possible for me to have everything I need. It just took a lot of hard work and dedication.”

During their time at Solid Ground, three of Lu’s four children graduated high school and the youngest, Devon, just started his freshman year. “It is such a wonderful feeling to be back on my own; to have accomplished the goals I set for myself and for my children” Lu says proudly, with a smile. “This year, we will celebrate the holidays together, in our own home.”