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When Leana’s daughter was 2 years old, she was told by the father of her daughter to pack up and leave. “He felt that I was becoming too dependent on him,” says Leana. “He said that since I stayed at home to take care of our daughter I was not really working and contributing to the family.”

Leana and her daughter stayed with friends and relatives for several months. Without a job, a car, and nowhere else to go, Leana eventually decided to go to a family shelter.

Leana stayed at the family shelter for a year. “At times, I would get frustrated with my living situation,” she says. “It’s not easy raising a daughter in a shelter,” she continues. “I kept reminding myself that this was just temporary.” With the support of her case manager and the employment director, Leana began an aggressive job search.

During her job search, Leana slipped and fractured her ankle. While she was at the hospital, she received two phone calls from possible employers. “I didn’t allow the accident to be a setback for me,” she says. “I wrapped my foot in a plastic bag and kept going.” Leana interviewed for a mailroom position and was offered the job. “I look at myself now compared to four years ago and it puts one big smile on my face,” Leana laughs.

Leana now lives in her own apartment and is in a program called “Homelessness to Homeownership.”

“With the support of my case manager and a constant focus on my goals, I no longer have a hard time saving money.” She continues, “To know that the money I save will go toward buying my own home is an incredible feeling!”