Shareka was searching for people she could trust. After experiencing medical issues, Shareka wanted to go back to work, but she needed childcare for her son. “I really don’t have family that can take my son in like that … to accept him and love him the right way while I’m away to work.”

Finding ACS allowed Shareka to breathe a sigh of relief: “I was very grateful because I saw an opportunity, and we ran with it.” Shareka finally had a safe place to leave her son where he would be nurtured and loved by our trained staff. Since enrolling in our program, Shareka’s son, Noa, has become our preschool comedian, and he’s repeatedly shown his wonderful heart. Shareka has graduated from a career readiness program which offered technical skills as well as interview and resume skills! Now, she is working full-time at a temp agency! She looks forward to accessing mental health services through ACS and states, “I’m on my way to my purpose if I don’t let this depression beat me.”

Shareka is grateful for the emotional support she has already received from our Family Services team: “Since we’ve been here, ACS gives me hope… They didn’t give up on me. Sometimes, I get stuck while still trying. I don’t have the support of [my] sister or brother… that we all equally should have.” Through her service plan with our Family Services team, Shareka is personally establishing her needs and goals while working to create her new support system. She has worked so hard to get where she is, and she even says, “I’ve come a long way. I’ve survived. I don’t know why I had to go through so much. And it still hurts at times,” but Shareka believes, “Everything happens for a reason.”

Shareka also believes strongly in the power of love and community. “I want to see everyone in the world live… equally in this world. Family, friends. All the negativity we do has to stop for all that. It’s not going to be easy if we don’t try.” She even says that the most important lesson she’s learned in life is “to love, not argue… just listen.”

Love and community are involved in Shareka’s reflections on Black History Month as well. When we asked Shareka about what this month meant to her, she explained that everywhere she goes, she feels the community of her ancestors alongside her: “They love to see us happy. Can you see them in me, you, or someone you’ve seen before reminding you of them? With the honor of the universe and our ancestors, their love will never die.” With this love around her, Shareka continues to surpass barriers and do her best for herself and her family. We at ACS are so glad to support parents like Shareka as they journey from homelessness to housing.