Finding safe, affordable housing in our community is hard. Before Sharita was referred to Lydia Place, she did not have a safe space for her and her children to stay. Sharita had been forced to make the hard decision to split her family up. While Sharita remained in Bellingham and waited for housing, she stayed on people’s couches or in her car, wherever she could stay safe. After a year of waiting and working on things, she was referred to Lydia Place and was able to reunite her family and move into an apartment together.
After securing housing, Sharita was getting back on her feet and was working a full-time job. The kids were excelling in school, making friends in the community and joining sports. Her daughter began to apply to colleges to study medicine. Things were starting to fall into place for Sharita and her family, and then COVID hit. Her hours began to drop at work until there was no job at all. Then all of the children were transitioned to remote learning, requiring Sharita to take on the responsibility of teacher to her young children. She made it her goal to ensure that the children did not fall behind and continued to thrive under these challenging circumstances.
Despite the setbacks the pandemic has caused, Sharita remains focused on her goal of giving her family the best life possible. With the help of Lydia Place programs and services, Sharita had the resources and support she needed and continued to work on her personal goals for herself and her family. With the children reengaging in school and childcare opportunities, Sharita continues to push forward to establish financial security and works toward sustained independence.
When asked what Sharita wants people to know about the stereotypes around homelessness, she reflected on where she is after two years and shared “Every person just needs to be seen as a person and to be given opportunities. Not everyone who is homeless is bad or on drugs and it’s incredible what you can accomplish with some help.”
Hear more from Sharita by watching the video below!