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Laura grew up in the southwest Twin Cities, raised by her mom and dad. She didn’t finish high school but completed training to become a personal care assistant and began working.

“I liked helping people, I had a heart for it,” she said.

Laura had two children with her partner, and they rented a duplex. But, the family faced financial challenges, fell behind on rent, and got kicked out of their home.

“It was a very hard time,” she said. “There were a lot of problems, and I could feel the stress it was having on the kids.”

The family couch-hopped for a while, staying with different friends, until they went to live with Laura’s sister.

“My kids kept asking why her kids had beds and they were sleeping on the floor,” she recalled.

Laura heard about Neighborhood House, one of Greater Twin Cities United Way’s 15 housing providers that help families in crisis, from a friend. She knew her family needed a safe, stable place to rebuild, so Laura completed the intake interview, and the family soon moved into their own apartment.

However, Laura had been dealing with abuse from her partner and also found herself pregnant. Neighborhood House separately relocated her to a new apartment, where she currently lives with her 11-year-old and 9-year-old daughters, as well as her baby boy.

Laura has been staying at home with her young son but looking to find stable childcare so she can return to work.

“I want a job where I can eventually be self-sufficient,” she said. “I’m working to get my GED.”

Laura’s priority is her girls doing well in school—one of them is also active in sports, playing basketball.

“Neighborhood House helped us a lot,” she said. “Our apartment is ours, and I’m much less stressed. I would tell others “don’t give up”—there are people out there who care and want to help.”

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