One family we’d like you to meet is Nesha and her daughter who graduated from our Villa Home in Pasadena in August 2017. When Nesha first called Door of Hope, it was one call in a long list of desperate calls to find a place for her and her daughter to sleep. Like many families calling social services, she was discouraged and thought “Man, I’m not going to be able to get in.” When our case manager Melissa picked up the phone, Nesha’s story unfolded: She came from a difficult home situation. Her extended family told her repeatedly to give up her daughter for adoption. They ended up in a motel in South LA. “I had a breakdown because I felt like I was failing my daughter… but Melissa took the time to explain the program and she actually sat there and listened to me while I was stressed out.”
When it came time for an interview at Door of Hope, Nesha broke down in tears. It had all been too much, trying to take classes in Glendale and work full time at a restaurant in Los Angeles while raising a child without a home. Thankfully, Door of Hope had room and Nesha moved right in!
During her time at Door of Hope, Nesha had high goals and a commitment to work. She attended case management, life skills classes and therapy. She worked and attended school. She was able to quit her restaurant job for a better (though temporary) job in the non-profit sector. But it was still a waiting game: “I was broke and waiting and getting anxious — I didn’t know what to do with those days,” but Door of Hope provided the safety net she needed to get through the transition for better employment. After she graduated from Door of Hope, Nesha got hired permanently at her non-profit job and is now getting promoted from executive assistant to manager!
Nesha also grew emotionally while in the program. “I used to just be mad at the world. I was emotionally damaged when I came into the program… Door of Hope taught me to forgive, not only other people but myself. It brought me peace.”
Her daughter is starting kindergarten this year. She still lives in the apartment in Pasadena that she found with help from our housing manager, Griffin. There were actually 12 families looking at the unit but the landlord held it for her because of the connection with Griffin.
When asked what advice she would give to current families, Nesha said: “Don’t ever give up. Hard times may come, but after the storm, there is a calm.”