Shaquonna’s Story

Shaquonna was a runner. “I went into foster care when I was 13 and I ran away a lot. If I didn’t want to be somewhere and felt uncomfortable, I ran,” she admits.

She recalls her “crazy childhood”, one filled with poverty, abuse and turmoil. Running became Shaquonna’s solution to the hardships she experienced, dealing with things no child should ever have to face. “I can honestly say, I didn’t have any stability at all.”

Her first encounter with the Milwaukee Rescue Mission was as a child when, “Me, my mom and my brother actually stayed here,” she remembers. Years later, Shaquonna came back as a single mom who was expecting her first child. She desperately needed help. Sadly, she quickly left because she wasn’t ready to stop running and embrace a stable lifestyle.

Then, about a year ago Shaquonna was struggling with some serious problems, including harassment, homelessness and needing a safe place for her and her children to live. “I felt like God kept telling me, ‘Go to Joy House, go to Joy House!’”

Shaquonna admits, “Coming to Joy House was hard, but it got easier” with the help from counselors and her advocate. Her life began to transform, “Once I saw the schedule and how my kids were able to sleep. I could see the change in their attitude because of the environment. And I learned how much I could do when I got up early and stuck to a schedule.” Most of all, “MRM brought me closer to God.”

Your generosity has given Shaquonna stability for her family, she’s found a job and “Now I’m moving into my own place,” She says with a big smile.

Thanks to you, Shaquonna is no longer running. Her life has stabilized and she is achieving what seemed impossible. “I didn’t think I would be where I am today until I came here. They gave me hope, because I didn’t have any hope before. They gave me courage and they made me understand that I am someone with a purpose.”