Regaining Stability After a Year of Turmoil

Regaining Stability After a Year of Turmoil

Mila still remembers the day her mother lost her job. She put in long hours working as a receptionist at a law firm after Mila’s father died in a car accident. Even though the money wasn’t much, it kept the family afloat.

The entire family was devastated when Mila’s father died. Her mother put on a brave face for Mila and her sister, but they would often hear her crying at night, the sounds muffled but not extinguished by her pillow. Mila and her sister did their best to cope, too. But it was painful to think back on the days when they were still a family of four.

After regaining stability at Mercy Home, Mila is grateful to have a place to call home.
Mila is grateful to have a place to call home.

Mila’s parents were both very involved in her and her sister’s lives. They ate dinner together every night, and her parents made it to every softball game and dance recital. But that all ended the night they lost Mila’s father.

Beyond the emotional trauma, losing the income of Mila’s father was difficult on the family. Her mother took the job at the law firm, and they moved from a nice home to an apartment building, where things were cramped. Mila and her sister shared a bedroom, something they had never done before. There was no longer money for sports or dance classes. Now, Mila and her sister spent time doing the chores their mother no longer had time for.

Then Mila’s mother unexpectedly lost her job. With only a little in savings, the family wasn’t able to keep up on rent payments. Soon they were evicted, and that’s when life really became difficult for Mila.

With no relatives to turn to for long-term lodging and no money for a deposit toward a new apartment, Mila’s family ended up in a shelter. There was no privacy and it was a loud, busy place that made it impossible to carry on a normal life.

Even so, Mila did her best to keep up in school. She sometimes showed up without clean clothes or lunch money. The other kids teased her. And there was barely time to finish her homework before the shelter’s mandatory lights-out hour. Usually, she couldn’t get everything done. Her grades slipped, along with her self-esteem.

One night, a social worker at Mila’s shelter noticed the family and pulled her mother to the side. She told her about a home for children who have faced significant hardships and instability—kids who are brokenhearted and faced with the anxiety of the unknown.

“When she told me about Mercy Home, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me,” Mila said. “I just wanted a place to call home again.

”After Mila came to Mercy Home, our caring coworkers assisted her mother and sister with stable housing. Mercy Home recognizes that the families of our children are also in need. This is why we deliver groceries to our children’s families and provide them with referrals for assistance. We don’t believe that anybody should be left behind.

At Mercy Home, Mila had a place to call home for the first time in almost a year. She regained the stability that had been lost along with the life of her father. She no longer needed to do her homework in the dark, and our tutors helped Mila to establish good study habits. Soon, her grades rose and she made the honor roll last spring. With our grief therapists, Mila was also able to process her many losses. She no longer struggled with nightmares that plagued her after the death of her father. After months of feeling unmoored, finding Mercy Home was a beacon of light.

Mila has thrived outside the classroom as well. She loves socializing with the others girls and providing them with support during difficult times. She’s also become involved in lots of activities, including a dance class, that allow her to spend more time being a kid rather than juggling adult responsibilities.

Mila is also planning for the future. With her grades back on track, she hopes to use her excellent math skills to become a financial advisor someday—and hopes to help others manage their money so they can plan ahead for future disasters. Mercy Home helped her find an internship at a bank over the summer, and she is excited for a bright future.

“If I never would’ve come to Mercy Home, I never would’ve had the time to think about what I want to do with my life,” Mila said. “Mercy Home changed my life when I needed it most.” Thank you for helping us rebuild life’s broken pieces for children like Mila.

Your support is life-changing. Please note: Because we care deeply about protecting our children’s privacy, the names and certain identifying details in this story have been changed.

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