“I grew up in shelters. It was really hard and stressful and I didn’t want to follow the same path with my kids. I didn’t ever picture myself being homeless when I grew up,” shares 35-year-old Janel. Janel is mom to a 17-year old boy, 15 and 7-year old girls, and has another on the way.
Last October, Janel and her family were evicted from their apartment and lost their Section 8
housing voucher. Janel immediately started
calling for emergency family shelter, and after three weeks, Janel and her children moved into MSC’s family shelter in Kent. During those three weeks of homelessness, Janel and her children slept in the car, stayed at friends, and also were split up for a short while with the older kids staying at friends’ houses.
“MSC helped me a lot and got me back on my feet. They opened my eyes to things, and if wasn’t for my case manager, I wouldn’t have gotten my
Section 8 housing voucher back,” shares Janel. “At first I felt really irritated by my case manager, if I didn’t respond to her she’d keep calling, emailing, or even come to my door. Then I realized she’s
doing this because she wants to help me and
everything she was doing was good for me.”
Janel and her family moved in their new apartment in the middle of July. They are still waiting for
furniture but should have some soon.
Five years ago, Janel was diagnosed with Lupus. It causes her to be tired all the time, have body aches, and be unable to stand for long periods of time. She’s thought about applying for disability, but shares she “doesn’t want to be disabled at 35 years old.” She’s been thinking about it more though, and may come to MSC for an appointment with a lawyer from Benefits Law Center who is on site once a week at MSC’s Kent and Federal Way offices to help with Social Security benefits.
Janel shares that if she could have a career, she’d like to be a nursing assistant or work with kids. In five years, she sees herself in a better place, either with a good job or maybe in school.
Janel is also able to access other resources at MSC to help her family such as the food bank and energy assistance, and maybe also earn her GED through MSC’s prep program.
“It’s not easy being a single mom. MSC is one of those places that do actually help people,” shares Janel.