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From Homelessness to Entrepreneurship: A New Dawn for Jackie and Her Two Children

Jackie was riddled with fear and worry. She asked herself, “Who do I turn to?” and “How am I going to get through this?” She and her two kids, Jasmine and Justin suddenly became homeless when their apartment building was sold. She searched frantically for places to rent and to her despair felt hopeless against the staggering prices of rent. Being a single mother, she felt the guilt and painful angst of placing her kids in such distress. Months followed with no hope in sight.

The challenges did not end there. Jackie’s daughter, Jasmine, had been battling a chronic illness and due to the situation at hand, Jasmine’s health worsened. The uncertainty of being homeless was overwhelming 16-year-old Jasmine, increasing the symptoms of her illness. This weighed heavy on Jackie’s heart to see her daughter affected this way, and she felt more alone than ever but she had to keep pushing forward as she tried to hold things together for her family. It felt like the world was working against her and wouldn’t end. Throughout this trying time, Jackie worked hard to establish an LLC to attract more work. However, the financial limitations and setbacks that occurred over the past few weeks, it prevented her from being able to afford it. Then, Jackie lost her vehicle. Now preventing her from being able to get to and from the job she currently held. This felt like it was the darkest of times, and as the pressures of life kept closing in on her family, she asked herself, “How much more of this can I take?”.

But Jackie was strong and was right to not give up hope yet. Later that month, Hillsborough County Public Schools referred Jackie and her children to the Dawning Family Services Prevention Department, a program that specializes in assisting families who are at threat of becoming homeless. Recognizing the urgency of their situation, Jackie was urgently enrolled in the Rapid Rehousing Program designed to provide short-term rental and utility assistance to families in need. Jackie couldn’t believe her luck; she hugged her kids in joy & felt a wave of relief knowing they now had a safe place to stay. With the stress of becoming homeless minimized, Jackie could now focus on registering her new business LLC. Through hard work and dedication, Jackie has successfully registered her LLC, opening doors to new opportunities for her business.

With the strong support of Dawning Family Services and the solid foundation of her LLC, Jackie's business dreams have surged ahead. As the pieces fell into place, Jackie sensed a revival in her life, and even her children began to show positive changes. This united effort helped Jackie and her family heal and find stability once more, guiding them toward a brighter and more promising future.

We are excited to report that Jackie has been awarded an emergency housing voucher, and she intends to utilize it to secure permanent housing within her current apartment complex. Jackie said she felt extremely supported and cared for from the start of working with Dawning Family Services. Expressing deep gratitude for the timing of Dawning Family Services coming into her life.

Jackie’s success story serves as an inspiration to others facing similar challenges. Through her determination, resilience, and the unwavering support of Dawning Family Services, she transformed her circumstances from homelessness to entrepreneurship. A helping hand, coupled with an individual’s determination, can change lives and create lasting positive change. Dawning Family Services wishes to continue to support and uplift one another, fostering a community where every person has the opportunity to thrive.

Your generosity to Dawning Family Services is transforming lives and providing children, like Jackie’s, with a glimmer of hope for a brighter and more promising future. Dawning Family Services sincerely thanks you for making our community a better place for families.

Written by Sarah Tapia


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