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Hope and Inspiration
These stories shine a light on the incredible families we proudly serve. Their love, strength, and commitment inspire us continuously.
Stepping Up to Parent Her Siblings and Baby
At the age of 18, Shanice became the legal guardian of her younger brother and sister when her mother passed away. Barely an adult herself, Shanice was suddenly in the role of parent. Sometime later, she became pregnant. Her pregnancy made her eligible for PCSLA’s Early Childhood System of Care, which serves families with children from newborn to 5 years.
With the help of her Primary Care Coordinator, Shanice was connected to partner agencies for housing, legal services, child care, and child development services. In alignment with PCSLA’s model, partner agencies followed up with her within three business days. Shanice appreciated the timeliness and that the agencies proactively called her rather than the other way around.
Shanice is about to turn 30 and has much to be proud of. The brother and sister she raised are both attending college, and her little boy is receiving the services he needs to grow and thrive.
From Barely Surviving
Zoila and her partner Juan were raised to be hardworking. The young couple both had jobs, but even their combined wages were not enough to make ends meet for themselves and their son, Aaron. When, at age 20, Zoila became pregnant for a second time, their family faced homelessness.
Aaron’s pediatrician at one of our partner clinics referred them to PCSLA, where they were immediately connected to a Primary Care Coordinator who worked with them to create a five-part care plan for the family. Their plan included permanent housing, child care, a peer support group, baby supplies, and securing more lucrative employment.
Three months later
Through the coordinated efforts of PCSLA’s partner agencies, Zoila and her family moved into their new apartment. Aaron started receiving child care services, and the family received much-needed donations of diapers and baby supplies. Zoila became an active and committed participant in a weekly Pregnant/Parenting Teen Peer Support Group.
A Daughter's Love and Determination
At age 13, Breanna became her mother’s primary caregiver. For the next nine years, Breanna attended school, worked a job, cared for her mother full-time, and struggled to make ends meet. While juggling these responsibilities, Breanna learned she was pregnant, and the father was nowhere to be found.
Breanna came to PCSLA, where she was immediately connected with housing and employment assistance to avoid homelessness and find a better job. She joined a support group, took parenting classes, obtained food through our partner agencies, and received donations of baby essentials.
Breanna’s son is thriving at home and in school. Her mother lives secure in her family’s love, and their home is filled with laughter, music, and the aromas of Tobagonian cooking. Breanna is a certified nursing assistant and a full-time nursing student specializing in pediatrics and cardiology.
Motivated by Her Love for Her Grandson
Julia suffered from depression and endured years of domestic violence, but it wasn’t until her daughter—who was addicted to drugs and serving jail time—gave birth to little Ethan that Julia was motivated to seek help. Julia received legal custody of her grandson and found the courage to leave her abusive partner, but she then faced homelessness. That’s when Julia’s medical provider referred her to PCSLA.
Soon after being connected to PCSLA, Julia and Ethan moved into their own room in a local shelter. PCSLA and its partner agencies donated blankets, clothes, and food gift cards to address their most basic and immediate needs.
Longer-term solutions followed. PCSLA partner agencies helped with a security deposit for their own apartment and connected Julia with a therapist, whom she sees regularly, and whom she says is helping her to overcome her greatest fears.
In a few short months
The positive change in Julia and Ethan’s lives has been extraordinary. With her burdens lifting and future prospects encouraging, Julia feels more relaxed as she devotes herself to Ethan’s care. She is also an active participant in two PCSLA-affiliated peer support groups.