Alison is our neighbor. She belongs here. But as a teen she struggled to believe it.
When she was a senior at a local high school, the shadows of childhood trauma were closing in around her. “A feeling of loneliness was particularly scary,” Alison said. “I stopped caring about my grades and started hanging out with people that did not care about me. I was pulling away from my family, the only friends I had left, and ultimately my education.”
Alison decided to drop out of high school. “I know this may sound absurd,” Alison said, “but somehow I felt this is what I deserved. But in the end, I only ended up hurting myself even more.”
A few years later, Alison entered into a caring relationship. They had a baby girl. Not able to afford rent on their incomes, she and her partner doubled up with his family. As a young mother, Alison desperately wanted to provide a stable home for their daughter, but she didn’t know where she could find the time or money to attain her GED so she could secure a better-paying job. She felt stuck.
When she learned about Interfaith Outreach’s Project Success program, hope began to bubble up for Alison. Project Success invests in homeless and imminently homeless families with children so they can achieve housing stability within two years. She applied and was accepted. As a Project Success participant, Alison receives rent support, employment services, training opportunities and group support with other Project Success families.
Having a place to call home made all the difference for Alison. With that stable foundation and the caring support she receives through weekly meetings with her case manager at Interfaith, she is able to focus on her family and career goals. “Through Interfaith’s partnership with Wayzata Public Schools, I got my GED!” Alison beams. “I had the chance to change my narrative. While I am excited to be celebrating this success, I can’t help but to be even more excited for the future.”
Through the Sleep Out, our community gave Alison the gift of belonging – a warm welcome at the food shelf, encouraging support as she worked toward her goals, and most importantly, a home from which to create a hopeful future for her family.