Sharon’s Story: It’s the Simple Things
May 26, 2020
Sharon had been in a neglectful marriage for years when her husband left her and her kids. He racked up debt in her name, ruined her credit, and left her with only a minimum wage job to live off of, which eventually led to an eviction. Living in Louisiana, where minimum wage service jobs were all that seemed to be available, she saw little opportunity for a better future for herself and her children. When a friend offered her a place to stay in Denver, Sharon moved with her three young children for an economic opportunity. Sharon was ready to build a better life.
Shortly after moving to Denver and beginning her new life, Sharon lost her housing. Without a place to stay, she was desperate. The only choice she had was a homeless shelter for her and her three children.
Sharon’s situation is not uncommon. After divorce, many women suddenly find themselves facing poverty. Sharon never finished college because she was raising her children while her husband was the breadwinner. She worked, but as her children’s primary caregiver she only took part-time jobs.
Sharon came to Bridge of Hope Greater Denver in June of 2019, when she was recommended by her case manager at the homeless shelter as a great fit for the program.
“Hearing about Bridge of Hope gave me hope. I thought I might have an opportunity to get back on my feet. I didn’t know how my kids and I were going to make it, but, I thought, maybe there’s an opportunity.”
Sharon’s drive and determination stood out so much that she even inspired several other women in the shelter to take life-changing steps.
When Sharon and her children moved out of the shelter and into an apartment, she didn’t have any furniture or housewares. Unbeknownst to Sharon, her neighboring volunteers had been working for the past week gathering all the items her family would need to furnish their apartment. This team of volunteers showed up at Sharon’s new apartment with a truck loaded with everything that was needed to make the apartment a home.
When asked what she appreciates the most about a home of her own, Sharon shared,
“Me and the kids having dinner…it’s the simple things. We ate on the floor too many times, but now we have a table”
Until early May of this year, Sharon was working full-time at a local hospital in cleaning and sanitation. Recently, she was among several workers laid off without reason, likely due to a slow-down in patients at that particular hospital.
Despite this unexpected challenge, Sharon has demonstrated what we see in so many of the Bridge of Hope moms: resilience and resourcefulness. Before she returned home after being laid off, she had applied for several jobs and unemployment. Thankfully, the rental assistance she has been receiving from Bridge of Hope has allowed her to build up a small savings that will help to sustain her family until she gets a new job. Seven or eight months ago, a job loss would have meant falling behind on bills, facing an eviction, and returning to homelessness. This is no longer the life that Sharon and her kids live thanks to Sharon’s work-ethic and the generous support of Bridge of Hope donors.
Above all else, Sharon is grateful to be supporting her children and building a better life. By the end of her time with Bridge of Hope, Sharon is determined to own a home, and we are cheering her on as she works to achieve this goal.