Homelessness has many root causes and requires various solutions. Learn about some of our clients and their success stories.
Jazmin is a 31-year-old single mom with three sons, ages 10, 9 and 6. They lived out of county in an unsafe environment, and she wanted better surroundings for her children for her to grow up in that was closer to their father. She moved knowing that she would have to start all over, but felt her children needed a change. She did not have friends or family in the area and came to Mountain View Family Shelter in September of 2022.
Jazmin also had a substance abuse problem and was guided by the case managers at Mountain View Shelter to attend Concord’s New Hope Church, which has a recovery program for those seeking a 12- step spiritual journey. She attends weekly 2-hour sessions and is in a better place emotionally and mentally, while her children have a safe, stable place to continue their education.
She is grateful for the foundation, structure and support of Mountain View Family Shelter as she pivots toward a more positive future for she and her children, and is thankful for the chance to start over.
Dewana is 32-year-old single mother with a 15-month old daughter. They became homeless after an aunt they lived with passed away, and they were not able to remain with relatives. They entered Mountain View Family Shelter, and Dewana is grateful for the direction and guidance she is receiving there, while she works toward self-sufficiency, her education and parenting skills. She was inspired and encouraged by the staff and case managers at Mountain View to pursue a career in social work as a Behavioral Health Service Provider.
Dewana enrolled in the SPIRIT program, an intensive, 9-unit college course run by the Hume Center. The program teaches the roles and functions of Contra Costa County’s behavioral health system of care: Mental Health Services, Housing and Homeless Services, Alcohol and Other Drug Services, broad Health Services, learning recovery and resiliency-oriented techniques and principles. Upon completion of the SPIRIT program, graduates are placed into practical internships and gain valuable experience.
Dewana is grateful for the stability of the shelter, the foundational structure, support from Mountain View staff, and the chance to start over in a positive direction. She hopes to eventually help others, as she’s been helped.
Meet Shaden and Amanda
Shaden and Amanda are a couple in their 20’s (with two young children ages 3 and 1) who lost their housing due to a custody conflict over one of their children. They both worked, but prices in the Bay Area for housing, food and fuel were too high for them to make ends meet and they ended up living in cars and motels. During their homelessness, the adults began experiencing mental health crises and eventually lost their jobs. They needed the help and guidance at SHELTER, Inc.’s Family Shelter to provide structure and guidance to recover and move forward.
They met with their case manager and diligently worked to create goals and plans, coordinate their own childcare, and stabilize their mental health. Amanda was able to get her driver’s license, and both found employment that resulted in them departing the shelter into their own apartment.
“Staff at the Mountain View Family Shelter helped us by standing by us, and not allowing us to fail. They helped us stay together as a family, learn how to budget for our first apartment, and have confidence that we can stand on our own.”
Trisha is a Veteran who served in the U.S. Navy. Due to a combination of factors, she struggled with substance abuse. She was unable to perform her duties, and later released from the Navy with an Honorable discharge.
After that she was referred to different agencies, including the Veterans Administration (VA) who referred her to SHELTER, Inc.’s (SI) Veterans Program. When she came to us, she was 30-years-old, single, unemployed, five months pregnant, and homeless.
With SI’s encouragement, she stayed with the VA substance abuse treatment program and entered a Sober Living Environment for pre and post-natal, to ensure her unborn baby remained healthy. SI also referred her to Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing and got her on their voucher wait list.
SI encouraged her to contact her family, and she was able to reconnect with them. Domestic disputes about her addiction had forced her to leave home. SI located baby items to help her, while her family has remained supportive. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy in May. SI helped with car repair/maintenance so she could continue with a housing search. In June she secured permanent housing, pending inspection by housing authority, with the help of SI and donors like you.
Hillary was referred to SHELTER, Inc. in 2021 with a 9-year history of depression, substance use, loss of career, and housing instability with extended periods of unsheltered homelessness. As a medical professional she had access to substances with which she self-medicated, ultimately resulting in the loss of her career.
This self-starter had been on the road to recovery and done that hard work to kick her addictions, meet the rigorous requirements to return to the career she had lost, but needed a secure and stable environment in which to take the final steps.
Hillary embraced all the wraparound services SHELTER, Inc. could provide, and with the support of her case manager and care team, she completed the 56 hours of required retraining to resume her career, and remain clean and determined. She begins the next step of her career in July with a new job, gratitude to SHELTER, Inc., and pride for over-coming her extreme challenges.
Robert is a 75-year-old, honorably discharged U.S. Airforce Veteran who came to SHELTER Solano in March of 2022. His family circle was limited to two elderly siblings back east, and one long-term relationship that ended without children. His social security benefits stretched only so far, and he lost his housing. He had worked steadily the rest of his life following military service, but had never signed up for Veteran benefits, so establishing his present need and military service took time. With his own persistence and the help of his SHELTER Solano case manager, he was able to corroborate his service, and started receiving VA health care services and benefits. He exited SHELTER Solano July 2022 and moved to a senior living apartment, and remains thankful for the support and guidance he received at SHELTER Solano.
Heidi was homeless, addicted to drugs, and unable to take care of her 10-year-old son. After learning she was pregnant, she enrolled in a recovery program and found faith. She began to believe that there was more for her life, and her children’s lives. With no money, job, and unable to stay with family, she arrived at SHELTER, Inc.’s family shelter in Martinez with her two children. There, Heidi says, she found support that allowed her to rebuild her life and she began to do “the work.”
Heidi took advantage of SHELTER, Inc.’s services to get herself back on the road to self-sufficiency.
“I worked with a case manager and came up with a plan to eliminate barriers that were holding me back from being successful,” said Heidi. “I will never forget all of the staff and volunteers at the shelter I hope they know how much they impacted my life and contributed to my success.”
With SHELTER, Inc.’s employment services, parenting classes, counseling, financial resources, housing search assistance, and support from her case manager, Heidi got a job and ultimately was able to get a home of her own.
“It was bittersweet when we finally were able to move out of the shelter and into our very own place,” said Heidi. “I will never forget that feeling of total accomplishment the day we moved. All of the hard work paid off and now with the support from SHELTER, Inc. and my recovery community I can continue to achieve my goals and to give my children the life that they deserve.”
Angelo came to the Mountain View Family Shelter in Martinez with his 6-year-old son AJ, after being in and out of the young boy’s life. At 30-years-old Angelo had made some bad choices and, after being homeless in Antioch, he broke the law and landed in jail. While in jail, he participated in groups to better himself, deal with anger, and found faith.
When he was released, he had no place to go and wanted to care for his son AJ who had been living with family. He “stepped up to the plate” to care for AJ, said his SHELTER, Inc. Case Manager Krishna C. The single dad was accepted into the shelter and began using various services connected through SHELTER Inc., such as parenting classes, employment services, and financial literacy programs.
Angelo obtained a job, enrolled AJ in school, and began saving for a home. After several months residing at the shelter, a SHELTER, Inc. housing and property specialist and a case manager worked with Angelo to help him find a place of his own. After nearly six months, Angelo and AJ officially moved into their own home. They were assisted with furniture and move-in help from the generous volunteers of the Walnut Creek United Methodist Church’s Extended Family program.