I am Now the Best Grandmother I Can Be

You Restored my hope and helped me build a brighter future

Nan had spent years trying to recover from a life of abuse, turning to drugs to mask her pain and forget her past. Eventually, Nan’s drug use spiraled out of control and led her into homelessness. After ten years of living on the streets, Nan lost all hope, believing that her destiny was to live in a tent for the rest of her life.

Nan came to Volunteers of America (VOA) for housing assistance, but without addressing the root causes of her homelessness, found it difficult and left unsuccessful– returning to the only life she knew.

Nan eventually found her way back to a VOA shelter where staff encouraged Nan to apply for VOA’s job-readiness program. Because the program required participants to stay sober while living in a supportive shelter environment, Nan was able to address her addiction issues, learn valuable life skills, and hold onto part-time employment until she successfully graduated the program in 2017.

Nan says her sobriety was made possible because of the shelter and job training she received from Volunteers of America. “They taught me how to shift my thinking,” says Nan. “I began to see myself not as a victim, but as a contributing member of society.”

Today, Nan has a rewarding job as an ambassador helping other people in crisis the way VOA helped her and is enjoying life as a homelessness advocate, friend, and most importantly as a grandmother. Nan says, “Now, on a Sunday afternoon, instead of trying to keep warm in a tent hoping for a better tomorrow, I am in a house of my own, enjoying visits with my daughter and my 15-month old grandson."