It’s hard to imagine motherhood without a home. Or, those months of excitement leading up to the new baby’s arrival with absolutely nothing prepared.  For Janet….this was her reality. Expecting a baby with nothing prepared. No baby shower. No family to celebrate the birth. No gender reveal. Life has been tough. A constant shift — physically and emotionally. It’s hard to see it in her smile today. But, if you take a close look, it’s there. The intense pain of separation, the fear of the unknown, the scars of violence once endured. She has been through so much, probably more than you or me could even comprehend.

Yet, despite the challenges, Janet kept going, even when she didn’t think she had the strength to go on. She had to survive — she had five children depending on her — and a new baby on the way!

Last year on Mother’s Day, Janet remembers the overwhelming feeling of depression and despair. She had lost her job after 6 years and they had just lost their home. They had nothing. And, nowhere to go. Nobody would rent a room to her with all five of her kids. The shelters didn’t have room for all of them.  Janet shared, “on Mother’s Day we spent the day in a park and driving around because we had no place to go. It was horrible, that’s how we spent every day. We got motel vouchers to use some nights, but they weren’t in safe neighborhoods, but at least it was a roof over our heads. It was exhausting, packing up every day to get back in our car and drive around again.” 

One of the lowest points was when Janet’s three older children had to be separated. She was unable to keep them all in the car and so they went to stay with a grandparent. The hopelessness was overwhelming, but then, two months ago,  Janet was referred to Door of Hope.

It is here that she found safety from her past, shelter from the streets, and hope…for the first time in a long time. She found a place they could begin their journey towards healing. With the support of her case manager, Janet is working hard to get back on her feet again and put a plan in place for their future. She’s also preparing to give birth to her new baby in just a few weeks.

For Janet, this Mother’s Day is very special — it’s a reminder of the hope she now carries as they transition from homelessness to their own home. The beauty of having shelter for her children and a new baby.

“Now we can come home, we can bring the baby home!! I am able to start preparing now because we have a room. Before we were always in the car so we couldn’t have much.  Everybody hits the bottom to get back to the top. I am not at the bottom because of Door of Hope, before that I was. Now I have hope for our future…together.”