It was right after Christmas. Jalissa, a 26-year-old single mom, was so stressed, she couldn't eat, she was losing weight and even losing her hair. She had been struggling, experiencing times of homelessness, for almost eight years. She'd always been able to rely on friends and family for shelter when things got too rough. But she was running out of options. January is no time to be homeless.
She had her first child at 16. Without a high school education, she couldn't find a good job. And even when she found a job, she couldn't afford day care and had to quit. She wanted to attend cosmetology school so she could fulfill her dream of running her own hair salon. But she could never stay in school long enough.
In the midst of all this, Jalissa was constantly looking for the next place to stay. Thankfully, in February 2016, she came to Joy House.
“ I came to Joy House because I needed shelter and food for my kids.”
“But now it's more like family. They make me feel so loved. They remind me it's going to be OK, and then they pray with me. I have so many mothers and sisters here that I never had before.”
Through Bible studies and one-on-one counseling, Jalissa is learning more about herself and drawing closer to God. Through life-skills classes that teach things like budgeting, parenting skills and understanding healthy relationships, she's rebuilding her life step by step.
She's even studying for her GED in preparation for enrolling in cosmetology school later this year.
“I used to doubt myself a lot,” she says. “But I'm confident now. With my new family at Joy House, and with God, I've got a real future.”