Lives at Pippin Orchards in Watsonville.

After being unhoused, health and happiness return as a mother finds a home.

In her own words:

I am a proud mother to three beautiful children and two vivacious grandchildren. I’ve been a long time Santa Cruz County resident, and I am so happy I get to stay in this beautiful city.   

Much like yourselves, I had a full time job for most of my life. But then my health started deteriorating. I was in and out of hospitals for most of 2017, sometimes for a week at a time. It took over a year for doctors to diagnose me with life threatening blood clots around my heart, and I was forced to slow down on work.  

Keeping my kids fed was difficult. We barely scraped by enough to put food on the table. We lived in a motor home, but then I found out that the people living with us were getting involved with drugs. I’ve been clean and sober for 25 years, and I couldn’t risk my sobriety or allow my children to grow up in that type of environment. So we ended up losing everything.  

We became homeless. My car had no seal on the windows, so we were literally getting rained on. There was no protection from natural elements, and the little belongings we did have, were destroyed in the process. It was hell. It’s one thing to experience it yourself, but as a mother – I saw the pain and suffering in my children’s eyes also. It shattered my heart to pieces.  

I lost hope. Even churches turned their backs on us and told us to leave. I thought this was it, I would never be able to find a safe space for my family. But then my friend who lives in MidPen Housing, she came across Pippin and urged me to apply. I couldn’t be more grateful.  

I started the application that same day. Amanda picked us up off our feet and guided us through the entire process. She was on the phone with me, messaging me and texting me to ensure that everything went smoothly. She truly cares about our family, and we adore her. Amanda is our angel.  

Moving in the night before Christmas was a miracle. It truly feels like the clouds have parted, and the sun can shine again. My blood pressure has regulated, and the veil of darkness has been lifted. I love seeing my daughter smile again because she finally feels safe. My husband has enough stability to be able to work again. I take care of my grandchildren everyday, and they love it here too. They get to watch movies here, and play to their heart’s content.  

This is our home. We don’t have to worry about someone saying “you’re out of here.” There’s nobody on our back. The community is our family. Just the other day, my daughter asked if we could stop by to show Amanda her new prom dress she picked out. It feels good to be in a place where people truly care about you.  

I’ve been given my life back. I get to watch my daughter graduate in just 3 short months. My son is able to get his driver’s license.  

Without MidPen, I wouldn’t have a home or my sobriety. Thank you to everyone who has made this possible, for my family and everyone else within our community. You are our angels. Thank you.