Justine’s Story

"Without you, I wouldn’t have a place to lay my head. I’m more than grateful for everything that everyone here has done for my family."

Raising kids is tough enough, much less as a single mom during a pandemic.

Like so many others in our community, Justine and her kids faced many challenges last year. Then, the unimaginable happened. Justine lost her job, and the family was evicted from their home.

Losing her job and her home was difficult — but in the midst of the uncertainty of the pandemic, it was especially trying. “I was sad, disappointed, and a little angry,” she admits. In her heart, though, Justine knew she had no time to feel sorry for herself. She needed to find a place for her and the girls to stay — and quickly.

Out of options, Justine brought her family to Joy House, our shelter for women and children. Here, they found a roof over their heads, three meals a day, education and counseling … They found refuge and peace from their anxieties, thanks to the support of friends like you. And it wasn’t long before Justine realized that this care means more than shelter and meals — it means the chance to begin rebuilding their lives.

Justine says being at Joy House didn’t just provide her family with a safe place to stay, but it also helped her learn how to become a better parent. She set goals for herself, which included looking for work, finding another apartment and getting her kids back in school.

“Being here has definitely opened my eyes to things I should be doing differently,” Justine says. “Like setting boundaries and being more patient.” She says she wants to “put God first in everything I do, and then raise my kids the best way I know how. I want them to know that we can do all things through Him — and that tough times don’t last.”

Today, Justine has already accomplished some of her goals and is working on the next — she has a job, and just graduated from our Renew program in Joy House. As she looks forward to moving into a place of her own, she says she’ll always remember the way MRM staff treated her family. “They were always so kind to us,” she remembers. “This is a beautiful place that really opened my eyes.”

And to friends like you who made it possible for her family to be here, she says, “Thank you. I am more grateful than words can express!”

Never forget that Justine — and hundreds of others — are living new lives today because friends like you care!