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Andrew doesn’t want his children ever to experience the financial insecurity and homelessness that he has endured for more than half of his life. With parents who were unable to care for him, he was “in foster care at age four,” he said, “arrested at 19, and released with nowhere to go, bouncing back and forth from place to place, staying outside.” Always a hard worker, he was supporting himself and his girlfriend with a job at a restaurant at BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport in 2020. Then the Covid pandemic hit, the world shut down, he lost his job, and his son was born.
“Depending on unemployment and those stimulus checks helped pay for a hotel for a while,” he said. “I have good people in my corner who helped us out during the pandemic. But by the beginning of 2021, I was going broke paying for a hotel room, and it got to be too much. I started looking around for programs that could help us and found Sarah’s House. At first I was reluctant to come to this program, but I made the decision for us as a family. Living by someone else’s rules is tough, but I thought about my son, who’s one year old now. I appreciate what the program is doing for us. It’s a roof, and they’re helping us get ahead.”
Andrew is driven by a desire to make a better life for his son and the baby he and his girlfriend are expecting later this year. He’s thankful for the help they’ve gotten through Sarah’s House with the logistics of life that can be barriers to accessing benefits, employment, and housing for example. He’s looking forward to the next step in the program—moving his family into their own place. He has returned to his former job at a higher rate of pay and has been actively seeking out extra hours and opportunities to move up in the company.
“For me, from here on out, it’s all or nothing,” he explained. “It’s been a long time coming. I’ve made some wrong decisions in my life, but now I have three lives I am responsible for. I have plans. With what I’m making now, I can sustain us, keep a roof over our heads, and food on the table. It’s a start. I’m not looking for a luxurious life, but I do want to keep moving up. I want to go back to school, build a career, find a better paying job so we can get a house. But for now, I will put in the hours, save money, provide for my family, and contribute to my company. I’m willing to do anything I have to do to give my kids the life I didn’t have.”