There is hope

“I just wanted to call to say thank you for being there,” said Lisa when she called MSC right before the holidays.  Lisa was in town visiting relatives when she drove past the MSC offices in Federal Way and was taken back to a different time in her life.

It was 1993, and Lisa had recently separated from her husband. Together, they had three children who were 4, 7, and 12 years of age at the time. Her ex-husband lost his job and while Lisa was working, it wasn’t enough to cover all the expenses without his assistance.

Unable to pay rent, Lisa and her children were evicted from their apartment and became homeless. She stayed with a friend who told her about MSC’s family shelter.  “I was at the shelter with my kids for four weeks. That time really helped me assess my situation and figure out what I wanted for the long-term,” shared Lisa.

Lisa applied and was accepted for MSC’s transitional housing program where she and her children lived for the next eight months. Lisa said, “While there I was able to save up for a deposit for something I could afford. It gave me time to reflect on what I wanted to do so I was never in the same situation again.”

Lisa decided she wanted to go to school to be a teacher. She enrolled at Highline Community College and started to study early childhood education. She was able to access the food bank and energy assistance to help make ends meet, and received some assistance with tuition and books for school. Eventually, she moved into one of MSC’s long-term affordable housing units where she lived for two years and continued to receive assistance through MSC’s programs.

During this time, Lisa’s employment outlook was improving. She started working as a pre-school teacher as she earned her teaching certificate in early childhood education. She became a teacher, then an assistant principal at an elementary school, and then a principal at an elementary school, and finally landed where she is now as a K-8 District Administrator in her local public school district. She continued her educational path as well, eventually earning her Master of Education.

And Lisa is still continuing to change her life. She is remarried and has one more child, and is pursuing a doctorate in education!

“I want to give back to the community by showing how MSC impacted my life. I want to encourage people that there is hope. Everyone needs help now and then, we can’t do it alone, so it’s nice to know that there are organizations like MSC around to give a hand when it’s needed.”