There were a few difficult weeks for Melissa, as she advocated for herself and her baby, and was able to make a break from Rob. She received daycare help from the county and, using a temp agency, she began a job search. The hiring staff asked if she would be interested in becoming a dog grooming assistant. She’d never thought about it before but decided to give it a whirl.
Three years later, Melissa is still joyfully employed in her grooming job. She loves her apartment, her independence, her job and her life. When she picks up her son from daycare, she catches herself saying, “We’re going home to OUR home,” and it brings her incredible joy and gratitude. She still regularly accesses P4H’s Case Management services as she continues to maintain stable housing.
I asked Melissa if she had a message she wanted to share with our readers. She stated, “I just want people to know that it’s difficult being on welfare. It’s really hard to be in a constant state of need for food and shelter.”
“The [P4H] shelter staff helped me get this place, and I am so happy here! There’s just something very special about saying, ‘my home’ or ‘our home’. I am so grateful to be able to live in ‘my castle, my palace’ with my son.”
Melissa serves as a Regional Expert representing P4H as part of the Heading Home Together collaborative, hosted by the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless and funded by the Heading Home Minnesota Funders Collaborative. She advocates for the rights of people experiencing homelessness.
Kirsten Becker, Communications Manager