Young family finds their first home

“Thanks to the support at the Welcome Home Shelter, we’re taking our daughter home.”

Shortly after graduating from high school, Danielle and her boyfriend found out they were pregnant. Since then, while trying to find stability, jobs and childcare, they stayed with different family members.

They decided it was time to find their independence and sought help to find an apartment and jobs and learn critical life skills. In the last month, Danielle, her boyfriend Michael, and their now 19-month-old daughter have moved into the Welcome Home Shelter. A United Way funded organization in Westmoreland County, the Welcome Home Shelter is a 30- to 60-day emergency homeless shelter for single women and families with children.

“Danielle and Michael arrived at our shelter in early August. Neither had an income or the documents necessary to apply for employment and housing. They were starting from scratch,” reflects Tracy Scott, case manager at Welcome Home Shelter.

At the shelter, Danielle and Michael are learning life skills such as independent living, cooking, cleaning, and nutrition, and they are receiving counseling. Tracy was able to help them obtain proper documentation, so Danielle is also applying for jobs and has access to resources that can assist her with finding childcare. “The staff at the shelter help you with more than housing. They can relate to you and are easy to talk to,” shared Danielle.

Michael has found employment as a cashier at a local gas station. “He told me that he’s a jack of all trades, and he’s willing to work anywhere to provide for his family,” shared Tracy.

Thanks to all of this support, they’re in the process of signing a lease. The Welcome Home shelter helped them apply for Rapid Rehousing, so they’ll receive assistance with their first month’s rent and security deposit.

“In the last month, they’ve accomplished so much,” shared Tracy. “They both want to do everything they can to better their situation. We’re happy to see them succeed in finding employment and housing as they start their young family.”