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A SINGLE MOTHER'S JOURNEY - forced on the streets from soaring rent

“I can’t believe the rent is going up this much”, Cheryl thought, as tears fell. She shook her head in disbelief. She had worked hard, taking side jobs, starting a new career, and finally having a safe and secure home with her two young children. It all seemed to be fleeting with the notice of a rent increase. “How can they do this to me after we have worked so hard?”, Cheryl thought.

It was the ordinary things that meant so much to Cheryl; having a kitchen to prepare dinner, falling asleep to the hum of the clothes dryer, and dreaming of a better life for her children. “Will I ever get ahead?”, she thought, as Cheryl watched her children sleep.

Cheryl’s journey with Dawning Family Services (DFS) started several months prior when she and her children were facing sleeping on the streets. Although Cheryl was working full time, there was never enough money to cover rent, food, and utilities. With Dawning’s help, the family moved into Emergency Bridge Housing and achieved permanent housing within two months.

Now, less than a year later, Cheryl felt that she was back at the starting point, facing homelessness again. She reached out to Dawning Family Services and the team quickly stepped into action, extending their Rapid Re-housing services and searching for a more affordable home. Cheryl also worked closely with the DFS Career Services Program and was offered a full-time job with better pay and benefits. Thanks to the Dawning Family Services team the sun is shining again for Cheryl and her family.

Your support and investments in Dawning Family Services are directly impacting our community’s most vulnerable families, like Cheryl’s. To support our mission or learn more about ways you can help, please visit

Written by Tori Calandro


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