Partnership Helps Formerly Homeless Sleep Soundly
Lily (right) and Javier (left) with three of their sons
Last year, Shelter Network began a partnership with the LA-based non-proft A Good Night Sleep to provide brand new mattresses to dozens of formerly homeless families and individuals in the Bay Area.
While Shelter Network provides comprehensive supportive services that help homeless people return to permanent housing, many families are unable to fully furnish their new homes – either because of lack of funds or inability to transport larger furniture. Countless formerly homeless children and their parents sleep on floors or cots for months or even years after moving into permanent housing.
A Good Night Sleep, founded in 2010, is committed to ensuring that every formerly homeless individual has a bed to go home to. The organization supplies beds and bedding essentials to people making the transition from homelessness into permanent housing.
Shelter Network received 50 new beds from A Good Night Sleep last year, and recently received a second donation this spring. These beds were all given to individuals and families who have recently graduated from Shelter Network’s programs and are furnishing their new homes.
Lily, Javier, and their four sons were recipients of some of the beds received this year…
Just a few years ago, Lily, Javier and their family lived comfortably in their own home, with Lily working as a parent liaison at a local school and Javier employed in construction. “Our life was perfect,” Lily recalled, and like many families at Shelter Network, she never imagined they would become homeless.
But as the recession sunk in and construction jobs quickly dried up, Lily and Javier faced harder and harder decisions. Unable to keep up with their bills in the following months, they were forced to leave their home and move in to a small storage facility. But soon after they moved in, paint fumes from an adjacent unit began making the boys sick. With the family’s health in jeopardy, Lily and Javier decided to seek help.
The family moved into Shelter Network’s Redwood Family House. Lily said, “The staff treated us with respect and we learned so much from them.” Both Lily and Javier took advantage of every opportunity offered, including workshops on life skills and career development and even going back to school to take college classes in the evening.
The children also excelled at Shelter Network. Over one summer, 15-year-old Ignacio started a soccer camp for other children at Redwood Family House while his older brother, Jorge, maintained good grades, played football and worked as a teacher’s assistant. Program Director Ashley Hartoch recalls her experience with the family: “They were all incredibly driven and a delight to work with.”
Through hard work and dedication, Javier secured a full-time construction job, and after four months at Shelter Network, Lily and Javier saved more than $4,000. They moved out of Redwood Family House and into their new residence in Menlo Park. In May, the family received beds from A Good Nights Sleep to help furnish their new home, and Lily recently graduated from Cañada College with a degree in Human Resources, Community Health, and Family Development!
Thanks to Shelter Network’s supporters and A Good Night Sleep, Lily, Javier and their boys have beds to come home to every night.