(Above: Left to right – Juan, Mayreni, Victoria, Jesus)
As in most cases, for Mayreni and Juan homelessness did not happen over night. In fact, for them the story starts back in 2012, when Mayreni unexpectedly lost her job. As if the loss of a job wasn’t already a big enough hurdle, this issue was magnified when their rent increased by $200 each month. This sent them spiraling through a financial tailspin frantically trying to plug the holes. They started asking, how can we afford to eat today? Where will we sleep tonight? How do we get out of this debt snowball that seems ever increasing?
These are the questions that families experiencing homelessness are facing daily.
In order to make ends meet and provide for their two children, both Mayreni and Juan sold their professional equipment needed to run their business. These efforts helped for a short while, but eventually, the expenses in life caught up with them and they were forced to move. Mayreni recounts a feeling of shame and guilt in that moment as it dawned on her that her children were now homeless.
“I was so ashamed that I often struggled with thoughts of taking my own life.” – Mayreni
However, determined to not give up and to improve their living situation, she reached out to Family Promise of Greater Denver for help. Upon arriving at Family Promise, Mayreni and Juan along with their two children began receiving support and care immediately.
“I remember feeling instantly comforted just by knowing that we had a safe place to sleep at night and home cooked meals for my children!” – Mayreni
In addition to having a place to stay, the family began to make what they would later describe as lifelong friendships with other families and staff at Family Promise. This was the beginning of their second chance at life! Through working alongside our family advocates, Mayreni and Juan were able to pull their focus from simply the here and now of “where are we going to sleep”, and set goals for their future.
Today, life looks very different for Mayreni and her family. They live in a beautiful apartment that as a family they can now call “HOME”. Not only that, Mayreni and Juan have set a goal of saving to buy a house in 2018! They are also in the process of rebuilding their family business in graphic design (check out their business website)! However, according to Mayreni and Juan, the most rewarding change for their family is the opportunity through Family Promise to mentor and encourage other families, who are currently experiencing homelessness.
“We have a new shot at life and many new plans, but we will always be committed to helping others experiencing homelessness take steps into their future!”
–Mayreni & Juan