by Diana Robinson

 When I was staying in a shelter, I had to be separated from my 12 year old son.  I had 3 girls and 2 boys to take care of.  My youngest son stayed with his father.  My 12 year old son had to stay at a men’s shelter.  It was very hard for us, especially because he wasn’t use to being separated from the rest of the family.  He took it kind of hard.  He ran away from the shelter to go over his aunt’s house and got jumped.  The attackers broke his arm and there was nothing I could do. 

While I was at this shelter, I was not able to locate housing within the time allowed.  I would drop the girls off at school and then go look for housing.  I only had time to look at one place because I had to pick up the girls from school and get back to the shelter by a certain time.  At the second shelter, I stayed there without “any” of my children.  They had to be transferred to another school.  My oldest child stayed with my sister, the two oldest of the girls stayed with my mom, and the two youngest stayed with their dad. 

I got lucky at the second shelter because they helped me find a duplex apartment.  I got my family back together and we stayed there for 3 months before I was accepted for Section 8 and CMHA.  I picked CMHA.  I was so happy to have my family back together, although they had to adjust to living in the projects.  Eventually, they made the adjustment and now all of my children are grown.