Facing Forward

Brenda

Building stability requires time, perseverance, resources, and positive social support. For families in our program like Brenda’s, having a safe place to call home and a community to lean on through Facing Forward’s Permanent Supportive Housing program has made all the difference.

As a teen mom in Puerto Rico, Brenda struggled to find a job and steer clear of a life controlled by substance use. She made the difficult decision to leave behind everything she knew in search of a better life for herself and her young daughter.

Hopeful for a fresh start, Brenda planned to join her husband who had settled in Chicago earlier that year. But when she arrived, their strained relationship took a turn for the worse, and Brenda found herself alone, struggling with addiction, and navigating a new city, a new language, and a new culture.

Brenda’s resilience served as her anchor as she spent the next six years sleeping on the street, in abandoned homes, and in hotels. She had two more children during that time but couldn’t find steady work to provide for them due to a mix of chronic health conditions and a disability she had developed while unhoused. “I couldn’t sleep thinking about how I was going to get by with my kids. As a single parent, I had to be mom, dad, everything for them,” she shared.

Brenda’s determination eventually led her to Facing Forward’s Permanent Supportive Housing program, the family’s first step toward a new beginning. Because of supporters like you, Brenda has not only provided a stable home for her children but has also made the life-affirming choice to maintain her sobriety. Working with her case manager, she’s accessed services like medical care, therapy, and child developmental screenings that are helping her family forge a new path with a clear and heartfelt goal: ensuring her kids have a bright future.