Time's Running Out
There are only a few hours left to help out families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched.
#GivingTuesdayNow is almost over. Only a few hours left to help our families affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Gifts made today will be matched up to $50,000 thanks to the generosity of a dedicated group of employees at William Blair and its matching gifts program.
Returning to Love, Warmth, and Happiness
Kali’s life turned upside down when she turned 16. Though things had been rocky for a while, the final straw came when Kali and her mother were evicted from their apartment. The eviction took Kali completely by surprise.
“My mother wasn’t home when it happened,” Kali remembered.
Hurt by the breach of trust, Kali decided she could no longer live with her mother. For years, things seemed smooth. But eventually, problems started to arise.
“When financial trouble started to happen, we butted heads more and more,” she said. “A lot of bad things were going on. My mom was not a very responsible person. She was all about caring about herself.”
Kali moved out and lived with several different family friends. Finally, she landed with a couple that her sister knew. Though she had a stable place to live for the time being, she still struggled. She began seeing a therapist to help her cope.
When the couple decided to move out of state, Kali again found herself without a place to live. Fortunately, her therapist recommended Mercy Home to Kali. She was hesitant, but knew it was the best option for her.
“My first impression was ‘I don’t want to live with a bunch of girls,’” she said. “I was used to living with only a few people in my life. But I told myself it’s either be homeless or be at Mercy, so let’s just go to Mercy Home.”
Despite her initial reservations, Kali stayed open-minded. She soon made friends with the other girls and our coworkers.
Kali also made positive strides at school. Before coming to Mercy Home, she failed a lot of her classes because she often skipped school. With more accountability in her life, her attendance and grades improved.
“I got tutoring through Mercy,” she explained. “I got extra academic help and academic advice. That was helpful.”
Kali successfully graduated high school and set her sights on college. Despite her initial excitement over getting out on her own, she soon began having a hard time.
“I struggled a lot because I was by myself,” she said. “I didn’t have a set routine. I didn’t have a set schedule except for class. My grades were slipping and I got really depressed because I stopped taking my meds. A lot of things just spiraled for me when I was in college.”
Kali knew she needed help, and she also knew exactly where she could turn: Mercy Home. She reached out to our Community Care team, which provides aftercare services and resources to former residents.
“I was scared at first to tell them that I was doing bad because I didn’t want to lose my scholarship,” she said. “But I realized that I should have reached out sooner and told them, because then they would have helped me get out of that rut and get my grades up.”
After explaining her situation, the Community Care team arranged for Kali to move back into Mercy Home.
“It felt like I was coming home because Mercy Home was my first real home,” Kali said. “Until I came to Mercy Home, I never felt like I was in a stable environment ever in my whole life. So being in an environment where my needs are met and I’m getting support was, to me, the place I called home. I came back to love and warmth and happiness.”
Kali decided that she wanted to ultimately put school on pause and begin working full-time instead. Mercy Home helped her get a job at a claims company, which she loves. She is doing so well there that she was recently offered a promotion.
In addition to working, Kali is also passionate about photography and accepted a photography internship with two Mercy Home coworkers, which she enjoyed.
Things are going so well for Kali that she just moved into the most independent living program that Mercy Home offers. She looks forward to saving up money to get her own apartment in the future.
“I don’t even want to think about where I’d be if I didn’t have Mercy, but I don’t think I would be in a good place,” she said. “I’m very, very grateful for Mercy Home.”
And we are grateful for friends like you, who provide young people like Kali with a safe, loving home that they can rely on in difficult times, even after they’ve moved on.