Sandra, a single mom, worked as a school bus driver for 13 years. When she broke a bone in her knee that required surgery, she couldn’t work and lost her job. She’s been homeless since last March. While she’d been homeless in the past, it’d never been for this long.
Sandra and her 18-year-old daughter Cheri, spend their evenings in hotels and with friends. Cheri is a senior at Ingram High School and, as Sandra will tell anyone who will listen, she maintains a 3.0 GPA and will be the first in the family to graduate from high school.
Sandra also has two older children – her oldest has been on her own since she was 17, and is now working as a nurse. She had a baby at 16, and Sandra took care of her grandson while her daughter got her GED and job skills in the Job Corps program. Sandra’s daughter had also been homeless until she recently found a job as a nurse and place of her own. Her son had some troubles and is in jail.
Sandra looks proudly at Cheri and says “I must have done SOMETHING right!” Cheri will tell you that her mom keeps her focused on her goal of being a fashion designer. She wants to make her mom proud by graduating and being successful.
At Mary’s Place, Sandra finds peace of mind and community. “The women and staff, even if they don’t know you”, she says, “will come up and talk and ask you how you’re doing.” Sandra says that at Mary’s Place, they listen.