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Laura was born in the South. Her parents had five children, of which she was the only girl. She fondly recalls traveling on fun family trips and having a relatively normal childhood, but her life took a dark turn when the son of a family friend violated her trust. After enduring the abuse for some time, Laura eventually moved in with her grandmother for refuge. A few years passed and she met someone, fell in love and had children. However, Laura experienced domestic abuse at the hands of the father of her children. To cope with the trauma of her childhood and the abuse from the people she trusted to protect and love her she turned to substances. It was during this period that Laura experienced homelessness for the first time. “I would sleep on the streets or on the porch of a doctor’s office at night when no one was around,” she said. She struggled with housing instability for more than 10 years as a result.

After reconnecting with a friend who lived in Massachusetts, Laura moved to Lynn. Later, a serious disagreement with her friend led Laura to our emergency shelter. At LSA she med Michael Hiland who became her case manager at the time, who she said “helped [her] with a lot of stuff.” Utilizing services available through Community Support for People Experiencing Chronic Homelessness (CSPECH), Laura was able to secure a single room occupancy (SRO) in the Osmund as part of LSA’s permanent supportive housing program. She eventually moved out and received the keys to her own apartment. “I was ecstatic,” she said. “I just remember being happy,” she continued. Today, Laura enjoys having her own space and has rediscovered her love for cooking. Through her infectious smile, she says frankly “people want to get themselves together…sometimes the only way that will happen is if they have help.”

Learn more about our programs, including CSPECH, here.

Kelly GauleComment