Markita and her son at a holiday party at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center.

Two years ago I felt my life was set and stable. I was living in a three-bedroom house, driving a car that was paid for and working at job that allowed me able to pay for it all. Independently, I provided for myself and two daughters who were nine and eleven. Life was good.

Soon, the sales job that had allowed me to live comfortably ended when I was cut from the team. I began to receive unemployment. My benefits totaled only half of my usual monthly income and I could no afford to live the same. Car insurance was the first expense to go. A car sale made rent not so much of a struggle for the next few months. With the news that I was expecting a new baby, I began to feel real pressure. I was able to hold onto my house for a few more months but eventually, our money ran dry and we lost our home.

Thankfully, a family member had room for us in the basement of her home. Living there, I was able to gain employment through an employment agency. That income helped me prepare for the new baby. I worked until about 2 weeks before my son was born. Then, once again, I had no income. The generous family member was becoming less generous. A time came when we had to leave and I moved in with my “best friend.” I felt secure thinking I was with someone who loved me and my children and wanted nothing but the best for us. I thought I was in a position that I could start fresh and get my life back in order. Months later, she felt her life was too full and we had to leave. We lived in a hotel for a few weeks until I was no longer able to scrape money together. After leaving there, we slept on the floor in an aunt’s house until she gave me a number to a local shelter. Thank God they had room for us.

We moved in on February 23. With a heavy heart and broken spirits, I began the journey of starting over. I had nothing. Identification, birth certificates, social security cards, shot records, clothes… all were lost or misplaced moving from place to place. Someone told me about a place we could go during the day and to talk to a caseworker… My Sister’s Place. When I got here I realized it was so much more. Someone to talk to without judgment… a warm and comfortable place… even diapers when I could not afford them. What a blessing.

My Sister’s Place guided me to resources that paid for new birth certificates and identification cards. I was also able to get my son into a child care center free of charge. After a lot of hard work, determination and prayer, I began to see that there was a way out of my situation I moved into transitional housing (Susanna Wesley) also made possible through one of the resources made available to me through My Sisters Place. I passed the test in for my GED and have already signed up for a Certified Nursing Assistant class. I will be volunteering at My Sister’s Place Women’s Center at least one day a week. I’m on my way to a better life.

My Sister’s Place Women’s Center