Partner Success Stories
Partners in Housing Profiles in Hope
Partners in Housing Profiles in Hope
The summer of 2012, I woke up to the realization that something had to change. I was 32 years old, had just given birth to my fifth child, ended my second unhealthy relationship, and had nothing in the bank. Looking in the mirror I saw my life clearly crashing. The house we were living in was a rental, and the man who owned it had a huge heart. Even though we were behind on rent he allowed us to stay. I knew this wasn’t right, and I was trying to break all cycles of codependency. I decided to notify my landlord that we would be leaving at the end of the month and hoped that good things came from seeking the truth. I heard of the organization Partners in Housing several times over casual conversation. I decided to schedule an appointment and see if they could help my children and me. Everyone there was warm and friendly. As I completed the application and interview process they mentioned it could be months before they had an available home large enough to fit my family. Having to move out by the end of the month we were lucky to have family open their doors for us to stay temporarily.
Shortly after I received a call notifying us that a home had opened up unexpectedly and we could move in within a week. This was divine timing! Driving up to our new home I was nervous and excited. What if it was near a bad area of town or in poor condition? It was the exact opposite, It was a beautiful town house tucked away on the Westside of town. The first weekend we were there my children said to me, “mom, I feel like we are in a mountain town.” It was peaceful and instantly felt like home. After we were moved in I met with my case worker, Rick, for the first time. He was easy to talk to, full of ideas, and had a great sense of humor. Rick always made me feel like I was doing a great job and that I was capable of so much. All of my mentors had been women in the past, and I had never really trusted a man in that role. So building a relationship with Rick was challenging for me to let my guard down. He reminded me to focus on myself and not just the children. He encouraged me to have medical exams, exercise regularly, participate in activities I enjoy, and even to date. As for my children, we focused on how we can get them to work together and reduce my work load in daily duties. It was amazing to see my home transform with structure.
I had many legal issues to attend to as well. Fearing the legal system, I knew it was something that had to be done. With a case worker to hold me accountable, I filled for divorce, requested child support, and applied for a permanent restraining order. Representing myself and speaking my truth, I was satisfied with the outcome of my court cases. I was feeling more empowered as I took each step forward in clearing the baggage in my life.
As for my finances, this was a huge mountain that I couldn’t even comprehend how to start climbing. I remember getting nauseous as I sat in my monthly meetings with Partners in Housing during budget counseling. Feeling like a huge failure and having to divulge my finances to people who were successful, was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I was given the opportunity to take the Dave Ramsey Financial University class. I started to pay off debt, had a $1,000 in a savings account, and got an IDA. They made me look at everything I spent money on and all possible ways to expand my income. I realized that the uncomfortable feelings that I had when talking about money came from my own inner resistance because everyone with Partners in Housing genuinely wanted to help me grow.
My career was influenced by Partners in Housing as well. When I entered the program, I was working at a daycare in the infant room. I loved being with the babies however the hours were long and the pay was low. I was encouraged to use my cosmetology license and do hair again. I now work at A Total New You Salon and Spa which offers me advanced education in the industry. I work alongside women that have been in this business a long time and are succeeding abundantly.
One of my favorite things about Partners in Housing is it has a thrift store for the partners, and talk about a hidden treasure chest! My family received beautiful clothing and things we needed for our home. The women who ran the store were always so helpful and made us feel welcomed. Around the holidays my children received Easter Baskets and gift cards for Christmas. For the first time in a long time I was able to buy them gifts and give them a Christmas. Having this kind of support allowed me to breathe easily and focus on what needed to be taken care of to move us forward in a healthy direction.
I still face the same challenges that I did when entering Partners in Housing. However, now I have the tools to deal with them and the mindset to stick with solutions. I have so much gratitude for the time spent in this program and all of the staff who believed in us. Knowing that I am not a victim and that I have the power to change my life, so that I can create a life of happiness and joy is what I learned from my experience with Partners in Housing.
Thank you! Rani Archuleta
Single Mother with Child Testimonial
Partners in Housing quite possibly saved my life, and definitely my sanity!
I was working at a big box retail store part time as a greeter, going to school part time. In January 2012, I found out I was pregnant with my very first child, after being told I would never have children, at the age of 32. In March that year, I could no longer work on my feet, and had to quit my job. I had a little saved up, and my mom helped me a little as well. It quickly depleted.
In early July, I had my daughter early, at only 24 weeks, due to Pre-Eclampsia. She spent 132 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I spent every day and every night by her side. I still could not work; I had lingering health issues and would not leave her side. September that year brought an eviction notice for unpaid rent. My daughter was still in the NICU and I felt so overwhelmed.
I called 2-1-1, Pikes Peak United Way, and they gave me information about Partners in Housing. I called PIH, desperate for some glimmer of hope. I could not bring my daughter home from the hospital to nothing. I applied, did the intake interview, and waited. I cried. I prayed. I begged. Finally, I got the call that I was accepted! October, I moved in to Colorado House, and in November, I brought my daughter home.
Lily was on oxygen when she came home, and plenty of medications. As a preemie, she could not be in daycare. So, I threw myself into online school, while being able to be there for her special needs. I attended the Life Skills classes regularly, fully utilizing the program for what I could. After a year and a half, we were ready to be self sufficient. Lily was off her medications, off the oxygen and doing phenomenal. I found an apartment, and a full time job. I am still in school, and Lily is in daycare while I work. Life is good.
At the beginning of July, Lily turned 3 years old. You’d never be able to tell she was a mere 1lb 4oz when she was born. She has no delays, and only minor health issues. I attribute her success, at least partially, to Partners in Housing. I do not know where we would have been if I did not have them there. I was able to nurture and stay with her during the most critical time. Best of all, we had a home. Partners in Housing taught me how to be on my own, and how to manage life as a single mom. I made a ton of connections and friends along the way. I will never forget the kindness shown to us.
Thank you Partners in Housing staff at the Colorado House! You made a difference in our lives!