In spite of being chronically ill, I was blessed to have a beautiful son, own a home, speak several languages, graduate from an ABA law school with two awards and  travel to many wonderful places.

I was recently diagnosed while pursuing my law degree with multiple sclerosis and a secondary autoimmune disease. My condition has not responded favorably to the last eight treatments, chemotherapy being the most recent was taken off the table temporarily as my doctors and I are going to try yet another. I left an abusive relationship in November 2013 because my autistic son (although high functioning) witnessed it; I was not planning to leave as long as my son was safe. We found ourselves without a permanent home and I was too ill to work despite applying for work I thought I could pull myself through and being turned down.

We lived in two domestic abuse shelters and miraculously ended up at American Family Housing. I am finally realizing my own self-worth and striving for the best life my son and I can have. I hope to stabilize enough to have the mobility to raise my son until he is a man. I even dream of the day where I can take and pass the CA Bar. I would’ve never even hoped for such things in November 2013 but now with AFHs help and support and my own efforts to procure financial aid, the treatments, and therapies for myself and my son I look forward instead of back and I’m not as afraid as I was.

Dates: August 2012 – present in affordable housing

Rory Higginbotham and his daughter, Cristina, came into our program after losing his job and his housing. Mr. Higginbotham started working part-time at a school district while Cristina was a full-time dance student at one of the top dance schools on the West Coast. Since entering AFH housing, Cristinahas received scholarships, honors, and offers to colleges and dance schools. Similarly, not only was Mr. Higginbotham a present and supportive father during their time in interim housing, he also achieved his goals of obtaining full-time employment, saving money, and securing permanent housing. Congratulations to Rory and Cristina for your achievements and future successes!

Single mother of 4 children, Jane came in to AFH Housing in late 2013 and is determined to get back tobeing self-sufficient. Within a couple of months of being in interim housing, Jane obtained a part time job with the School District and soon after got a full time job with Walgreens working overnights. While Jane was working two jobs, she saved money toward securing permanent housing. Jane has also been focused on her children’s well-being and requested assistance to help her son with weekly counseling and music speech therapy. Jane’s son’s behaviors and positive attitude changes have been a direct result of having housing stability and the support of AFH services. Jane is working on advancing her job at the School District and is looking for permanent affordable housing for her and her family. Having reliable income and a savings along with AFH services will help ensure Jane’s ability to maintain her housing permanently!