The Dream Book
“I lived in my last apartment for over 20 years. It was hard to make ends meet, but I always paid my rent. I didn't get evicted for not paying rent; someone in the apartment complex had bed bugs. With my extra money, I tried to fix the problem but it wasn't enough and he evicted me. I'd never been homeless before. I heard about Hope Harbor from a friend. I was very nervous coming here, I didn't know anyone and I'd never been in a shelter before. I have a cat - who is like my kid - and I had to find a place for him to go. Thankfully some very generous people have helped me pay for my cat's shelter. I applied for housing right away once I moved in, and I was put on waiting lists. I have been waiting over 8 months for an apartment to open up. I applied for all the income based apartments I could and I just found out this week I will have a place of my own very soon. While living at Hope Harbor, I saved up $1,500 dollars and I'm debt free, except for the boarding bill for my cat. I've never had that much in savings before!
I started my wish book four or five months ago while living at the shelter. When I find things that I love to look at or things I'd love to own someday. I love the colors and textures in these pages - especially the bed frame. I love these whiteboard floors. I'd like to have my own home, but realistically I know that's unlikely. I like to dream though. If I run out of room in this book, I plan to get a new one.
My dream book makes me happy. I had a roof over my head and 3 meals a day while living at Hope Harbor. I was safe here, and I could save money. I've made friends here and I was nervous coming here but I'm not now. I'm glad I came here. I’m excited to get out on my own and have my cat back – I miss him.”
I want to thank the judge who sent me to Hope Harbor when I finally hit my lowest point. The classes I was required to take were actually very beneficial in my sobriety. My case manager, Jodie, was by my side every step of the way and led me to complete the programs to where I am today. Clean and sober and living life to its fullest. Thank You Hope Harbor for being my shelter from the storm.
I imagined it as what you see on TV. After the first hour, I started to talk to the other people and I was fine, It is like a home here. I don’t think of it as a shelter. When I thought of a shelter, I thought of a big gym with 50,000 cots. But when you get here, it is a home. We are very grateful to Hope Harbor for providing our family a temporary place to stay after the flood in Wood River.
We cannot put into words how grateful we are. Hope Harbor was there when we needed it most.
Vicki’s Journey from Colorado to Nebraska
I wanted to start my life over after my husband passed away, so I came to Nebraska from Colorado. I was going to live with a friend. However, due to circumstances, I had to leave. I was homeless and knew no one in Grand Island. Living at a dangerous park seemed to be my only option. But, across from that park, I noticed a sign that read, Hope Harbor.
I went to check it out and found it to be women, children, and families shelter. Right away, I was allowed to come and stay in the Emergency shelter side and then after a few days was moved to the Transitional side to live. I was so relieved. Everyone was so lovely and helpful.
There I learned life skills like budgeting, interpersonal communications skills, & parenting skills. Not all the classes pertained to me, but I did learn from them. The staff helped me obtain my Nebraska ID card to get medical benefits from the VA finally. Yes, I am a proud vet of the navy and California Army National guard.
I applied for housing assistance from Hall County Housing Authority and was accepted. Then it was a waiting game for a unit to become available. It finally did! I signed my lease, was given the keys and Hope Harbor helped me set up my apartment from donations given to them by the community.
Overall, I had an enjoyable experience, and I appreciate the opportunities that they gave me. I'm finally able to move forward in my life's journey thanks to everyone at Hope Harbor.
JUNE'S SUCCESS STORY
June moved to Grand Island from another state, after her employer closed its doors. Her fast food job didn't pay the bills, so she shared a small home with her son and grandchildren. Eventually she found work at Swift, but was still having trouble making ends meet. That's when she turned to Hope Harbor. After four months as a Hope Harbor resident, June was debt free, learning valuable money management and employment tips along the way. June left Hope Harbor with $3,000 in savings, and with continued support from our self-sufficiency program, has maintained her savings and pays for emergencies with cash.
Teresa's Success Story
After completing numerous treatment programs, Teresa still struggled with addiction. Her home environment was les than healthy, but she couldn't afford a place of her own. Living at Hope Harbor allowed Teresa to set a budget and pay off over $15,000 in debt. With counseling, her self-confidence improved. The healthy relationship tips she learned allowed her to move back home with her husband, and continued involvement with our self-sufficiency program kept her on track. Two years of sobriety later, Teresa focuses on employment, family relationships, and reaching her goals.
JESSICA'S SUCCESS STORY
Addiction and employment issues found Jessica, her husband, Rob , and their two young kids living with Jessica's brother and his family. The stress was tough on everyone, and their 5 year old struggled in school and at home. Not only did Jessica's family receive safe, stable housing at Hope Harbor, but mental health, addiction, budgeting and family relationship assistance as well. Stress levels dropped significantly and Jessica and Rob's 5 year old son is doing much better in school.