Living in the North End of Tacoma and working an office job in Gig Harbor, homelessness was the farthest thing from Teranejah’s mind.
She was always able to provide for herself and her 3-year-old daughter. But as a single mom, she always found herself out of money by the end of the month.
So, Teranejah decided to go back to school in order to move ahead in her career and in life. But when she told her boss her plans, her job let her go, suddenly.
On top of losing her job, her landlords decided to renovate their home and her lease wasn’t extended.
“I couldn’t get into a new place. Everybody wanted two or three times the rent upfront. It wasn’t possible,” Teranejah says with frustration.
Now, with no housing and no job, Teranejah and her little girl were faced with the unimaginable – homelessness.
Teranejah and her daughter were forced to seek refuge in their car.
“I remember thinking, if someone could just take my daughter in and leave me out there, it would be ok. I never wanted her to experience anything like that,” Teranejah says, remembering how desperate she felt.
“You don’t ever see yourself being in that situation when you’re so far up already.”
Having never experienced homelessness before, she didn’t know where to go for help. Night after night of sleeping in a cramped car with her little girl, Teranejah was losing hope.
Thankfully, she found out about the family shelter at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.
“It meant so much to be at the Mission in the family shelter. To just know where we were going to sleep each night and eat. It felt stable.” Teranejah shares gratefully. “I didn’t have to wonder, ‘will this be the night that we’re sleeping in the car again? Will this be a night that I’m begging somebody if we can come sleep on their couch?’”
Thanks to generous friends like you, Teranejah had access to employment, education and housing support.
While at the Mission, she was able to find a new job AND an apartment for her little family.
Plus, Teranejah had the support she needed to go back to school
She just received her associates degree from Pierce College last month and has already been accepted to Pacific Lutheran University’s School of Social Work.
The traumatic experience of facing homelessness has given Teranejah a deeper desire to help others – and immense gratefulness for friends like you.
“Where I’m at right now would not be possible at all without the help from the Mission and all the resources that it’s given me,” she shares.
Today, you have the opportunity to help someone like Teranejah who is struggling to escape the streets and rebuild their life.
Will you help with a life-changing gift?