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Donald never thought his family would become homeless. “We came here for the opportunity of a lifetime, and we were left stranded…” Donald left his country to pursue his dream of becoming a professional athlete by moving to the United States. Shortly after the big move, that dream came true as he was offered a position as a professional athlete in another city. He was living the life he always wanted for himself and for his beautiful family of seven.

Donald’s dream quickly faded after his first season. He was not asked to return, and his contract ended. His dream of being a professional athlete and providing for his family was snatched away. Both Donald and his wife, Ashley, had a difficult time making ends meet without any stream of income, and the seven of them were forced to move in with family. They tried finding employment, to support their family and have a place to call home; however, due to housing instability, no one would hire them.

During this time, their four-year-old son, José, was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disorder. This required the family to take José to the hospital three times a week for treatment and health checkups. Quickly burning through any funds, they had left, the family ultimately became homeless.

Ashley called 211 for help and was introduced to Dawning Family Services. Donald, Ashley & their five children entered our Emergency Bridge Housing, which provided a safe and secure home so they could focus on their son’s health and finding employment. The family worked closely with the Dawning Family Services team to identify affordable housing opportunities through our Rapid Re-Housing Program.

Dawning Family Services has succeeded in keeping this family together during their time in crisis. Our programs are providing them a safe place to call home, time to heal, and employment opportunities that will change the trajectory of their future and their children’s lives.

Your investments in Dawning Family Services make a real impact on families like Donald’s; families in our community…families who are our neighbors.

Will you help? Please visit and make your donation today. Our families need your help.

Written by Tori Calandro


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