Jamilla’s Story

Jamilla’s episode of homelessness started with couch surfing from friend to friend and family to family before she entered the Hospitality Network last fall, nine months pregnant.

Once in the Network, Jamilla received case management help with finding income, but more important, a safe place to land when she gave birth to her son Zach. (You can learn more about that by reading Jim’s story!)

Jamilla and Zach remained in shelter for several months, sleeping on cots and moving from congregation to congregation. Zach was growing well and healthy. Network volunteers provided evening meals, formula, and diapers for the baby along with lots of caring support.

But in March, in response to the COVID crisis, the congregation shelter model had to be changed and Jamilla and the baby moved into a vacant apartment at Hope Forest. Coming out of emergency shelter, Jamilla had no furniture, but Inter-Faith donors stepped up. The Kilshaw family donated (and assembled) a homemade bed for Jamilla. It was her first night on a real bed in a year.

Jamilla exited shelter in June to an apartment of her own, closer to her family so that she could have their support. And the first piece of furniture set up in the new apartment was her new bed.

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