Melissa reached out to CGLH in 2020, looking for housing services late into the pregnancy of her third child. Earlier in the year, she got COVID while pregnant and was severely symptomatic, causing her to miss a significant amount of time from work. She was living paycheck-to-paycheck and her time out of work cost her the apartment she was living in with her two teenage children.

After getting COVID, losing wages, and being forced to move out of her apartment, she had no choice other than to send her two teenagers to live with family and live out of her car. CGLH made plans to move her into the maternity shelter as she would have nowhere to go with Baby Boy after giving birth; returning to her car with her baby was not an option. Melissa went into labor sooner than expected. Fortunately, there were no complications, baby and mom were healthy, and both adjusted quickly to life at CGLH’s transitional maternity program.

During Melissa’s maternity leave, she Secured a new job, acquired Daycare, and got Baby Boy a spot at a facility nearby. Only eight weeks postpartum, she returned to work. Over the course of the next few months, Melissa enrolled in an LPN to RN educational program through a local community college. She also started to apply for different housing programs in the area, hoping one would ultimately lead to a successful transition out of CGLH and into a space of her own for herself and her family.

In the nine months Melissa spent at CGLH, she saved a significant amount of money and secured a four-bedroom unit through Bethlehem Housing Authority’s Public Housing Program. For Melissa, this means affordable, long-term housing and the chance to raise her three children under the same roof. She continues to work towards her RN degree. She was hired as a technical partner in the Cardiac ICU at a local hospital, affording her higher wages.

The future looks much brighter for her and her family. Although working, raising children, and going to school is a mammoth task in itself, doing it without a support system and as a single mother seems monumental. Melissa knows that we will continue to support her. We encourage her and all our graduates to keep in contact and reach out for help, even if that means we just listen and encourage.