Our partner agencies have touched many lives. It is important for us to share some of these stories with you. The stories below have been provided to us by our agencies and their clients. Please use them to better understand how Kishwaukee United Way’s work impacts people across our community.
I am writing to tell you how Hope Haven is helping me become a more productive citizen and a better mother to my two boys, while also providing my family with food and shelter. I have been struggling financially since 2005. At the present time in my life, Hope Haven is truly my home. It has given my family and me security and stability, and I am very grateful. Upon arrival at Hope Haven, I was homeless, without a job and without any means to support myself or my children. I basically was hopeless and somewhat doubtful on whether I would ever reestablish myself again. However, I quickly came to realize how helpful and heartfelt the staff at Hope Haven can really be. Their programs are very unique and effective in helping people in my situation. They also embraced my family as if we were their own.
Hope Haven helped me focus on the future, and not just the present and I regained much needed hope. During my stay at Hope Haven, I have accomplished many things, for example I am currently attending Kishwaukee College to obtain a degree in Office Systems. I am working, my children are doing well in school, and I have learned to use the resources that are available within the community.
Most importantly, Hope Haven has given me and my children the structure, stability and security we needed while we wait to move into a new home. My children have had the opportunity to participate in their own programs; they’ve attended summer activities and received tutoring after school. My children have come to love and accept the staff at Hope Haven as part of our family. My boys mean the world to me and I appreciate the role the staff has played in their lives.
Hope Haven has exceeded my thoughts and expectations of what a homeless shelter would provide for someone like me. I was very skeptical, never living in a shelter before, but this experience has helped me regain trust and confidence in other people. Most of all, I have regained my self-esteem and feel hopeful about my future.
December 22nd was the first day I came to Hope Haven. It was a cold day and I had nowhere to go, no one to call, and no one to guide me—I was truly alone. I was hopeless, nothing but pain in my heart. With Christmas approaching, the only thing I wanted was a place to lay my head and feel some ease from my troubles. Hope Haven was a God send. They took me in with so much understanding and respect for my problems. They gave me shelter and food, but most of all they gave me a chance at life again. They gave me all the information I needed to get myself back on track so I could live a more successful life. Hope Haven restored the hope that I lost that day on December 22nd and gave me a better understanding about life. I thank Hope Haven each day for giving me a second chance at life and helping me realize that I too could have dreams and goals. That’s why it so crucial that society has organizations like Hope Haven, they give people hope and motivation to get back what they might of lost. Hope Haven provides people with resources and that extra push they need to get things done. When you are down, they have case workers there to talk to you and ease your troubles. I believe some families might lose interest for life or even their self determination when they become homeless, but Hope Haven restores that. Hope Haven can give people the tools to become more independent and able to prosper in their community, just like they did for me.
** The Y has impacted my life because I have been able to put y son in swim classes and play group. It gives me great pleasure to see him so excited and happy before and after swim class. He loves being around other children and I have some peace of mind when he goes on the boat with hi dad, knowing he learned water safety and swim lessons. I am so grateful for the financial aid that is provided because my son, who’s mother is trying to get though school without money, can enjoy what other children do.
** I and my family thank you so much for accepting us for the financial assistance membership. I have lost weight due to exercising at the Y. For the first time in two years I am able to put on my wedding ring! We as a family have also benefited greatly by having quality time with each other. We have gone swimming and just enjoy each other’s company. Thank you for helping to make my family feel healthy and important.