I was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. I completed two years of college, each year at a different school in the city.

During my third semester, I became pregnant and dropped out of school. My boyfriend at the time did not stay around to support me. I signed up for classes at the computer learning center, and while they initially wouldn’t let me enroll because I was pregnant, I presented my determination in a persuasive letter in which I demonstrated my commitment to going to school despite my pregnancy. I ended up having a miscarriage.

I graduated with honors in Computer Operations and was one of two females in my entire graduating class. Upon graduating from this program, I worked in the computer operations field. I found, though, that it was difficult to maintain a job in what seemed like mainly a man’s field.

I relocated to Indiana for a fresh start. In 2006 I began struggling with a variety of health problems including congestive heart failure, arthritis, and diabetes. I began missing days of work. With my salary at the time, I could not afford the house me and my family were living in. When my house got foreclosed, my family split up. I moved into a studio apartment. But without a car or accessible public transportation in Indiana, I could not get to work. This struggle, combined with my medical issues, made it so I had to leave my job. Soon after quitting my job, I became homeless.

In Indiana, there are not many shelters for single women; so I returned to Chicago in 2010 and stayed overnight at a shelter in Uptown. I found out about Sarah’s Circle at that shelter, and started coming to Sarah’s Circle during the day for case management.

Case management at Sarah’s Circle has been a big help for me. By the time I got to Chicago, I had really given up. It’s hard losing a house, getting evicted, and losing a job. I had nothing. I had health issues. It’s like I just cracked and gave up. I thought about suicide and I realized that I needed help. Not only did I need to learn how to make better financial decisions, but I had many issues I needed to fix.

It’s great being in the Housing Program through Sarah’s Circle. That apartment is mine… it’s home. I like that the staff pay attention to your needs, help you, and are very supportive. The Housing Coordinator is always available if I have any questions or concerns. It’s a blessing to finally have some roots again. Sarah’s Circle has helped me a lot; there are so many opportunities here and I love this place.

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