Real Moms Real Stories
A place of hope and empowerment.
The women who arrive at Gilead House come from diverse and often traumatic backgrounds and experiences. All have been homeless or at-risk of being homeless. Most have experienced domestic violence, job loss, mental illness, or are recovering from substance abuse or other events that have left them vulnerable economically and emotionally with no stable place to live.
They come in need of hope, stability, and a place to heal. They come with an expressed desire to end the path of homelessness they’ve been on and develop the capabilities needed to provide for themselves and their children. Each wants a second chance, and turn to Gilead House for a safe, sober, and stable living and learning environment from which they can learn the skills and access the support needed to better their lives.
Through hard work and the support of a loving community, the moms leave Gilead House with a sense of purpose, improved economic self-sufficiency, and hope for a better future for their family. Best told by them, these are real moms, real stories.
Like many women, Mary became homeless after deciding to leave an abusive relationship. Her need for safety and the safety of her kids finally more important than the many reasons that kept her with her abuser. With incredible courage, she and her two children left for a better life.
“I discovered there is help out there.”
Finding safe and stable housing at Gilead House has been huge for Mary. Once her housing was secure, she was able to take a risk and quit her low paying job in order to look for something better. In a short time, she found a new job as a nanny and is now earning over $500 a month more than at her previous employment.
Gilead House's Life Skills program is equipping and inspiring Mary to become financially stable. Without the added anxiety caused by homelessness, she is focused on improving her personal finances, increasing her education, and becoming self-sufficient.
Amanda’s story is one of gaining stability and hope. Before coming to Gilead House, Amanda was homeless for 3 years, living out of her car, and using the bathroom at a coffee shop to bathe her kids. She had no money for rent and struggled to pay bills with her hourly salary as a coffee barista.
"The support I received at Gilead House has been invaluable. The structured environment with rules and curfew has helped me to slow down and stay in control. I’ve learned budgeting, parenting skills, and opened a savings account."
After coming to Gilead House, Amanda has made tremendous strides in her personal and professional life. Through a caring mentor, she has learned to know her self-worth and realize that she can achieve more. With added confidence, she has doubled her hourly wage and now works as an Administrative Professional.
With a renewed sense of hope, Amanda has set high educational goals for herself. Her 10-year plan includes earning a bachelor’s degree, master’s degree, and a law degree. Her dream is to become a Family Law Attorney.
Elizabeth came to Gilead House as most homeless moms do—feeling scared, powerless, and inadequate as a parent. She didn’t believe in herself and underestimated her abilities.
“The best thing about Gilead House is the support and information that they provide.”
Since moving to Gilead House nearly 2 years ago, her life has changed dramatically. She has grown personally and professionally and has become a better mom. She is stable for the first time in years and building a solid future for her two girls.
Through Gilead House's Life Skills training and a positive mentor, Elizabeth, has gained confidence and is better able to navigate the challenges of everyday life. With the encouragement and support of her mentor and staff, she has changed jobs, increased her wages, and empowered herself.
Kendra is not a stranger to the debilitating effects of homelessness. Since her daughter was born, she has bounced around from place to place, estranged from family, struggling to find a place to call home. Last year she moved to Marin County to live with a friend and when that relationship failed, she had no place to turn. Even with two part-time jobs, it was impossible to afford rent, pay for childcare, and feed her family.
"Before I came to Gilead House, I didn't believe that someone would hire me for a better job."
When Kendra came to Gilead House she was stressed out, struggling to find housing, and unable to get “things together on her own.” Having a stable place to live gave her hope, peace of mind, and opportunity to receive help. Along with her mentor and staff, she developed a plan for a higher paying job and changed the course of her professional life.
As a result of her participation in the CalWORKs program, Kendra now has a job that she is proud of as a bank teller. She is learning new skills, making a higher wage, and has opportunity for advancement. In the future, she would like to go back to school and earn a degree in finance.
"Families are the compass that guides us. They are the inspiration to reach great heights and our comfort when we occasionally falter."