Family Housing Program

Helping families return to permanent and stable housing is the heart of our mission. Without the security and safety of a stable home, families live in crisis and uncertainty that impacts every aspect of their lives. Our program aims to go beyond providing just the basic need of shelter; it provides hope for an escape from the cycle of homelessness and a better life for children and their families. Families in the program receive individualized case management, including help with money management, referrals to education and job training resources, parenting skills, mental and physical health services, and permanent housing search.

Photo of mother and children.

Iona’s story

My name is Iona. I’m 27 years old and a mother of 4 kids, all under 10. When I first came to St. Stephen Housing, my newest baby was only 2 weeks old and I was still having trouble moving after giving birth via C-section. Those first couple months were so hard; I struggled with postpartum depression and was having difficulty healing properly from the birth. However, I kept working with my Housing Case Manager, Marissa. She kept encouraging me to keep going, keep trying; she brought me job applications and helped me find a doctor who could help me. With all the support I kicked postpartum in the teeth. She also helped me to stay on top of the all the medical appointments for my oldest, who has a brain injury. I interviewed for a couple of jobs and didn’t get them. My depression started settling in again but  I told myself to keep going. Marissa would come by while I cried and tell me to hang in there and keep going. She even was there for a second interview for a job and held my screaming and upset baby while I did the interview over zoom. When I was finally hired for a job, Marissa helped to pay for the documents I needed to obtain and for gas to get there the first week. I’m feel like I’m finally coming out of this depression and finding myself. It feels like everything is up from here and I don’t plan nor will I fail. I’m doing this for me and my children so we don’t have to depend on anyone else ever again. I’m thankful for everything you all have done for me. It wouldn’t have been possible without St. Stephen Housing help. Without you I would be on the streets with my sick baby and my other kids.

Maria’s story

My name is Maria, I have three beautiful children. We were victims of domestic violence by the father of my children, who was my husband. The drug consumed it for many years while we were married, its addiction was increasing. Causing him to consume in large quantities with the passage of time was affected to the extent that he began to have hallucinations, one day he almost killed me kept me three days locked in the bathroom and leaving my children alone I had just had my daughter Which he had despised by its color. When I finally let go and left the house, I was able to escape with my children without taking me to seek help. For us it was very difficult to get help, there was no shelter available all were occupied, so we were down the street. Until they helped us, shamefully said I had to take food without paying it because I did not have money my children were very young they were hungry did not know where to seek help for my limited English also because I was very scared I feared that at any time the father of my children Find us. After a week, there was finally a place in a shelter. In shelter until almost a year and a half, when they called us from San Stevens saying that it had a temporary place for From there we began a new life. Since we arrived at St. Stevens we felt at home and treated as a family. Patti was very good to us, she became a very entertaining friend of our family. Thanks to the programs and resources and donations we had. Thanks to the programs and resources and donations we had for the first time in year a happy Christmas without violence in our home we were very happy in that place we had wonderful experiences as a family. Thank you so much for your help, your compassion, your humanity, your values for being friends

Julia’s story

The last time I tried to leave the father of my kids, he tried to kill me in front of my children. He beat me up because I didn’t make him something to eat fast enough.  That’s when I knew I had to get away for good. I woke up the next morning trying to figure out if I was still alive or not, still numb from the shock and hurting from the bruises. I was a mom for the second time, still breastfeeding a young baby and basically doing it all on my own, with no help from my boyfriend. I realized I didn’t want to live this way for the rest of my life. I was scared to tell anybody what was really going on because I worried my kids would be taken away and that’s the only thing I was holding on to, as selfish as that sounds.

It took three years after the first time their dad hurt me to finally decide I couldn’t do this anymore. I kept feeling guilty that the kids would hate me later on for leaving their dad, but I knew they deserved better than watching him hurt me. I had told myself for so long, “I’ll leave tomorrow.” I finally realized I might not be alive tomorrow. I told my mom and my family what was going on, stayed in a hotel for a bit, and then was referred to SSHA.

With the help of my case managers, I kept the no contact order in place and finally broke the cycle. The kids stopped having to check on me to make sure I was ok and they got back to being kids again. My case managers helped me write a resume, get a job, and even encouraged me to start my own hair and eyelash business.