Helping America's most vulnerable.

The Story of CATHERINE - Family Shelter

I went from being homeless, hopeless and addicted to drugs, to being a working mom with my whole life ahead of me.

Catherine’s life started on a rough note. With a father in prison and a mother selling drugs, Catherine would run away from home only to be returned by the police. At 12 years old, she left for good. Living on the streets, jumping trains to stay dry, she soon developed a severe drug habit. Occasionally, Catherine would try to clean up her life and would get a job, but it never lasted. In 2011 she was blessed with the baby she always wanted, but her years of addiction prevented her from being the mom her daughter needed. Losing the only person she loved was the catalyst to make a life change.

After treatment she entered VOA’s Family Shelter and then the Mather Community Campus where she found a home and a community that became her family. The program’s structure and support has helped Catherine find a new path for her life. She is going back to school, works in the ministry of a local church, and is learning what she needs to be a good role model for her daughter.

“In one year, I went from being homeless, hopeless and addicted to drugs, to being a working mom with my whole life ahead of me. I never could have done this alone. Thank you for renewing my hope in the future.”

**To protect the privacy of the people we serve, some photos used in our stories are representative, rather than actual depictions, of the individual(s) described.