Thirty-five years old and the mother of two young daughters, Nicole was making ends meet by working as a server at a restaurant. She’d built up her savings and was hoping to one day own a home. Then, in the middle of a move from one apartment to another, COVID-19 hit.
Nicole was caught off guard. The new apartment fell through. With no other housing options, she and her kids had to move into a motel.
Nicole says, “My job texted me and said there’s no more work right now. Panic hit. I was already living partially off my savings while working. And
motels aren’t cheap. After paying for food, gas, and the motel . . . it
Her financial reserve quickly ran out, and the family soon faced a real crisis. They would have no alternative but to sleep in their car. “It was scary,” says Nicole. “I remember sitting on the edge of the bed in the motel. And for the first time in my life I wondered, What am I gonna do? I was afraid of the authorities getting involved and my kids being taken away if we had to sleep in a car.
“The next morning I woke up with determination to see if I could get
some help. For the sake of my girls, I tried to stay strong. I just prayed and prayed. The most important thing was that we stay together.”
That’s when Nicole contacted Metropolitan Ministries and found a team eager to help. “People I’d never met before took a chance on me,” says Nicole.
“Metro stood up for me when I was looking for help.”
Her First Hug
We were able to respond quickly with a motel voucher to tide her over. We determined that Nicole and her girls qualified for our First Hug program, which provides families with a variety of services to help them get through a crisis, including safe shelter, an environment of stability, and guidance as they move back to self-sufficiency.
Within just a few months, Nicole and her family were able to regroup, get back on track, and prepare themselves to move out on their own.
This conscientious mom is so grateful for the support. “When I heard about
the program, I wasn’t ashamed to apply,” she says. “I didn’t think it was below me. I’m motivated. I just put my faith in God, prayed, and it happened.” Her goal is “getting back to where we used to be.”
She says, “I never really thought I’d need help, but here I am. When this is all over and done, I’ll have a testimony.”
As you read this, Nicole has been able to find new housing for her family. She’ll receive transitional support for the next few months, until she’s able to find employment and financial security. She’s motivated to get back to independence.
“I want a home for my children, for my girls to get good schooling, a career,” she says. “I want to teach my girls to always be kind. You never know when you’ll need a hand up. We want to come out of this and be able to tell the next family that they can do it too. Metro is here to help people. They helped me.