Name has been changed to protect identity.
From our Summer 2016 Newsletter, with an update for January 2017
Sophie, a young mother of four, has experienced more trauma than many endure in a lifetime. Sophie was abused by a family member as a child. By her late teens, she was in yet another abusive relationship. When Sophie had her third child, she mustered the courage to flee to Connecticut with her children, where she planned to stay with family. Unfortunately, her living arrangements didn’t work out, and she found herself, once again, in another abusive relationship. Sophie became pregnant with her fourth child. She was desperate to break the cycle of abuse and find safety for herself and her children. She began “couch surfing” from one friend’s to another friend's sofa. Sophie and her children were literally homeless.
In January, 2016, Sophie feared she would be out in the cold with her children. She called 2-1-1, the statewide hot-line for housing and services. The call center connected Sophie with Columbus House’s Middlesex Family Shelter. She and her children were swiftly moved into one of the seven family units at the shelter. Over the last seven months, their lives changed dramatically. Their case manager connected them with multiple local service providers to help them gain stability and structure in their lives. Sophie and her children meet regularly with a therapist. Sophie is working to recover from years of trauma and abuse. She is motivated to build a more healthy relationship with her children, and looks forward to a safe, bright future with them.
“I can smile now. I feel safer knowing that my children and I can sleep in a comfortable environment where we can get the help we need to be hopeful for our future.” -Sophie
Sophie’s application for supportive housing is pending. She is hopeful that she and her children will soon move into their own home. The support network of providers, which her case manager helped to build, will continue to work with Sophie and her children once they are housed to ensure that the family continues to thrive.
According to the Point-In-Time Count, on a single night in January 2016, 449 families with 831 children were experiencing homelessness in Connecticut. One of these families was Sophie’s. With continued support from people like you, and intensive services like those Sophie and her children received at Columbus House’s Middlesex Family Shelter, we can look forward to the day that no family in Connecticut is without a home.
UPDATE January 2017:
We are thrilled to report that Sophie and her children celebrated Sophie's birthday by moving into their own three-bedroom apartment in the fall of 2016. The family was housed through Rapid Re-housing - short-term financial assistance to help move people and families quickly out of homelessness. Simply Sharing provided furnishings for the apartment and Sophie received a Welcome Kit - basic household necessities to get her started in her new home. The three older children are in school and the toddler is home with mom. Child First is providing assistance to help Sophie continue to build a nurturing relationship with her toddler. A Columbus House case manager still meets with Sophie and her family once a month to help support the family's path towards independence. Sophie and her case manager are working on finding childcare for her toddler so that Sophie can start working.