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16, Pregnant, & Homeless...

Katerina was only 16 years old when she found out she was pregnant. Like any pregnant teen, there are so many fears that come along. “What do I do now?” or “What will my parents think?”. While some are fortunate to have supportive parents, Katerina was not so lucky. After seeking guidance from her parents, she was kicked out of the house and left to fend for herself. Katerina and her soon-to-be baby girl, Melanie, were living on the streets homeless with no family or friends to turn to.

After two years, Katerina reached out to Dawning Family Services and was admitted into the emergency shelter program. Within days of being in the program, she was able to secure employment and create the beginning of the financial foundation they needed. Through the assistance of her case manager, Katerina gained identification documents, and fuel for her car to help assist in her housing search through the Children’s Board ASO program and was provided a referral to ELC for day care.

While in shelter, Katerina made a great effort to get her daughter the safety she needed in a home of their own. At the end of her stay in shelter she had two housing opportunities that looked to be a real possibility for her and Melanie. But when it came to finalizing the leases, those options fell through.

Katerina’s case manager wouldn’t let that be the end of her story. Dawning Family Services’ Emergency Housing Supervisor contacted a property partner and advocated for Katerina. As a single mom, first-time renter with limited income, and

risk of returning to homelessness, her options were slim. But through a valiant effort of Katerina and her case manager, she signed a lease to her first apartment in early April of this year.

Katerina and Melanie are now participating in the Rapid Rehousing Program at Dawning Family Services to be provided with the assistance they need to achieve the financial stability she desires.

We are happy to report that Katerina has maintained employment and works hard every day to start a life for Melanie where they would not fall into the same outcome. She is very grateful for the opportunity Dawning Family Services provided to secure a stable home for her and her baby girl.

Written by Tori Calandro


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