The Harris family came to the Friends Emergency Housing Program as a newly intact family, looking for an opportunity for a new beginning. A stable place to live and learn together was the topsoil in which they sowed the seeds for their future. They exited our program an intact family, with Richard and Christine getting married during their stay. Like many of our families they came with next to nothing, and with very little money. They dealt with the trials and tribulations of a rocky past, and what it meant to be homeless. They left with a newfound confidence, with skills and connections to succeed.
Richard was at a time in his life where he was committed to making the changes needed to be a great father and husband. Where he once struggled with addiction and the criminal justice system, he now has all the markings of an upstanding citizen committed to his work and his family.
Christine was able to use our setting as a classroom where Willow and Sage could pursue their homeschool education, both of them passing their annual evaluations this year. Christine, despite physical disability, spent her time engaging with and enriching her children in their multiple interests. Many nights allowed for family time where Richard would cook a tasty meal from scratch and the family would share stories and laugh with one another at the table.
This family is further proof that anyone is capable of overcoming their past and present difficulties and improve themselves and situations. Where there was once ample concern for this family, the staff at FEH ended up delighting in their presence and participation in the program as helpful and collaborative residents. The Harris’ worked the program to a “T”, utilizing supports and referrals, ultimately taking advantage of Community Action Program services and assistance to overcome homelessness. They are moving to independent housing in Pittsfield where they will continue their life’s journey, together as a family.