Erica's life was unstable.
“My own childhood was rough and rocky,” says Erica, 27. “My father and stepfather were both abusive. And though she loved me and worked hard, my mom struggled financially. She turned to the Lord. I turned to my friends in the streets.”
From the age of 12, Erica often ran away from home. “I wanted to live my life the way I wanted to,” she recalls. But she didn't count on getting pregnant at 18. Worse, the relationship with her son's father didn't work out. “Being a young single mother, I was unable to be a ”hands on' parent because I worked a lot to provide for my children.”
She met and married her husband, but her life still continued to slowly unravel. Her husband struggled with maintaining employment, which led to substance abuse. The family continually moved from place to place. In September of 2014 she'd finally had enough. Homeless and “fed up” she knew she needed to change. So, she came to Joy House with her two children while unknowingly pregnant.
Coming to Joy House was a humbling experience for Erica, and it allowed her to reconnect with God. Then, as she began to grow emotionally and spiritually, her husband recommitted his life to Christ, quit drinking and found a full-time job, and they are now working on repairing their marriage.
Erica also enrolled her son in Cross Trainers Academy. “Cross Trainers has transformed my son in many ways,” she says. “He's positive. He's focused on his educational future and his relationship with the Lord, and everyone comments on his ability and his natural talents. He loves this school so much and never wants to leave. I'm so grateful for Joy House and Cross Trainers Academy. If God did not lead me to the Joy House, I don't know where I would be.”