In Spring of 2014, Network Tacoma received a phone call from a local shelter, not an unusual occurrence. Unusually, however, they were calling about a refugee mother and her young son. Typically, when there is a vast language barrier, there are other services in Tacoma that can better serve families like this one. However, when Eunice and her son Samuel walked through the Network Tacoma door, we knew we had to help prevent this 18-month old boy from being homeless anymore.
Eunice and Samuel moved into our transitional housing program speaking very little English and with very few clothes, furniture, or necessities. As with all the families in our transitional housing, we were able to connect Eunice with resources in the community that met these needs. Shortly after moving in, Eunice was taking English classes and involved in job training with the promise of employment once she became proficient in English.
While many pieces were falling into place for Eunice and Samuel, there are always barriers and circumstances that hinder progress for all of our families. It is in these moments that we at Network Tacoma desire the families to be transparent and share their struggles in order that we could walk alongside them in the difficulties. Over the years we have found that those families that are the most teachable, willing to ask for help, and humblest are the ones that thrive and graduate from the program having seen the most transformation.
Eunice experienced some health issues, the cost of which would devastate the savings she had put away, and cause financial catastrophe. Network Tacoma staff put in many hours making phone calls, faxing documents, and sharing Eunice’s story in hopes that there would be resources to alleviate this huge burden. Miraculously, all of the costs associated with the medical procedure were covered! While answers to prayer are not always so surprising or drastic, we see the hand of God throughout the stories of the families in our care.
Being released from this burden, Eunice continued aggressively saving in order to set herself up for when she graduated. This past spring, it was with mixed emotions that Eunice and Samuel moved out of Network Tacoma’s housing. We miss her neighborly spirit and friendliness at the apartment complex. However, that slight sadness is far overshadowed by our excitement for her success and the knowledge that her life has changed and she is sustainably set up for her and Samuel’s futures.