Did you know that homelessness disproportional effects families? Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population in Indiana. Last year more than 3,500 kids in Marion County were identified as homeless by their school. The average age of a homeless person is just 7 years old. Which means there is an unimaginable number of homeless infants and toddlers in our community.
While we don’t often see homeless families, they are the reality. Families are more likely to be doubled up, staying in motels, or sleeping in cars. Some will find their way to one of three family homeless shelters in Marion county—the Dayspring Center. That’s where we met Trishell.
Trishell, mother of two teenage daughters one of which has had a life-long struggle with sickle cell anemia, is doing everything she can to keep her family together. But life has brought one unfortunate event after another. Trishell was a full-time working mom until her sickly teenage daughter landed in the hospital with a major infection last February. She stayed by her daughter’s side only to be fired by her employer for missing work. When the money ran out, Trishell impounded her car so they could afford to stay in a weekly motel. Within a month of motel living, she called Dayspring Center and arrived at the shelter with her two daughters in early May 2018.
Her daughter’s health stabilized, Trishell found employment, two part-time jobs, and by mid-August moved into their own place. Knowing starting over was not going to be easy, Trishell enrolled in Dayspring’s Follow-up Program. The events that unfolded in the next four months would have brought most people to their knees, but not Trishell. Less than two weeks of moving into their apartment, the apartment above caught fire. In a matter of hours, Trishell and her children lost everything.
A few months later, Trishell was experiencing a loss of sight. She was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and had to quit her job due to physical complications. Trishell credits the Dayspring Center Follow-up program for carrying her through a very challenging time. Trishell was assisted in finding low-income housing, resources for weekly groceries, and access to quality medical care. She is currently in a holding pattern – her health, employment, and future. But she remains positive, especially for her children.
Thanks to a grant from the REALTOR® Foundation, made possible by donations from REALTORS® like you, Trishell was able to get the support she needed even after she left Dayspring Center.