Laquetta Miller popped up regularly from her seat to be sure her active toddler was okay as she played nearby. The little one keeps her busy.
Da’Ziah is also the reason Laquetta stepped across the threshold at Bell Family Shelter, scared but determined. She sat on the bed with her baby that first evening, she said, questioning if she’d made the right decision.
Laquetta came to the Shelter from a two bedroom place she shared with nine immediate and extended family members. At 19, she had been trying to cover rent for herself and four of the other adults living there.
When utilities started getting cut off and the eviction notice came, Laquetta knew it was up to her to provide a strong example for her daughter and take steps to get her own place. Drifting in and out of friends’ apartments wasn’t going to cut it. That wasn’t the life she wanted for her child.
But now, here she was in an unfamiliar environment full of strangers. Would they steal what little she brought with her? Would she get along with the other people? Was there any way she could get her act together before she’d have to leave in 30 days?
Fast forward two and a half weeks and more than a hint of confidence is evident in her face. She rallied her strength, attended mandatory meetings to discuss budgeting and classes to learn healthy habits and parenting skills. She learned to cook and clean, and took advantage of time with caseworkers to get information to access and build a network of positive supports.
For her part, Laquetta brought a desire to move beyond despair to build a better life, as well as a willingness to take the necessary steps to get there. She admits she doesn’t like to think about where she’d be without the help of Bell Family Shelter.
And because of you, dear reader, Laquetta and mothers and fathers in situations like hers don’t have to imagine. They are welcomed in, provided the basics and so much more. That only happens because of your financial gifts, your donations of bed and bath linens, personal care items, and your volunteer time.
Please donate now. Make an impact all year long by setting up a monthly gift. Rally your friends and co-workers, your church group or civic organization. Dedicate your birthday to make sure the door is open when the next young mother comes to the door needing rest and resources.