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Lily’s Journey: From Homeless to Hopeful

Making lemonade out of lemons – Lily was always trying to make lemonade, but she had so many lemons, life seemed to overwhelm her and her family. It got so bad that Lily and her children ended up homeless. 

“I was bouncing from tents, families’ living rooms, friends, and being in the streets for a couple of months.” 

According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, nearly 600,000 Americans experience homelessness on any given night, which is slightly higher than pre-COVID numbers. Sadly, more than a quarter of those experiencing homelessness in 2022 did so as part of a family with children.  

Lily also lives in California, which has the largest population of homeless in the country. And without a place to call home—no foundation for her family to function—she quickly spiraled into depression. With no good job prospects, climbing out of homelessness felt impossible.  

But that wasn’t her only struggle. Lily also didn’t have enough money to assure her children that they’d have something to eat. 

“I felt hopeless. I felt like my kids deserve a better life than to be struggling, to not know if they were hungry and never gonna be able to have food.” 

Relief was in sight when a friend told Lily about the LA Dream Center, a Feed the Children partner agency. The organization offers residential housing which gives individuals and families the opportunity to get back on their feet. 

Lily and her son sitting at a table

Because of donors like you, Lily and her children feel safe again.  

“Just the fact that we have a roof over our heads. It’s a big blessing for our family and myself, not knowing where we’re gonna sleep and from sleeping in a tent outside with rain and with hardly any blankets. It’s a big trauma for my kids. So, knowing that we have a warm bed to sleep in and blankets and to wake up in the morning with hot water to be able to shower, it is a big change for all of our family.” 

The new sense of security has allowed Lily’s 8-year-old son to focus on the things kids should focus on – school and fun. He’s even discovered a love for soccer. 

Lily's Son holding a ball in bed

For Lily, the support has given her the confidence to dream of a better tomorrow. 

“I have faith that I will have my own space with my kids, and their own room in their own house,” Lily told us as she looked out the window at the LA Dream Center. “I’ve always thought that to be happy you needed a lot of people to make your happiness. But for me, now that I’ve been vulnerable, I believe just having a peace of mind with my kids, being able to cook in our kitchen, in our living room, even in their own bedroom, it’s just my top dream.” 

It’s because of your kindness that Lily can think about this type of future for her family. And don’t we all deserve to dream? 

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