Krystal was growing accustomed to a ten-minute walk to the Samaritan House cafeteria for breakfast instead of the 30 seconds it used to take. With five-month-old daughter Neveah in tow, she was often stopped by other residents who looked forward to the baby’s gleaming smile to start their days.
“I am naturally an introvert, but this baby is a social butterfly. She helps get me out of my shell,” said Krystal. “When I first got here, I had low self-esteem.”
Krystal, from Canon City in southern Colorado, has had a difficult life, with mental health struggles that have been exacerbated by long waits for a provider. She said she has previously placed six children up for adoption. Waiting a long time to find counselors was agonizing, and Krystal attributes these times of vulnerability and lack of medical attention to the choice of placing her children for adoption.
After years of struggling, she moved to Denver and was welcomed at Samaritan House.
Self-advocating was a built-in strength for Krystal, who used it to secure mental health resources, seek parenting programs when she learned she was pregnant and find healthcare services when she was diagnosed with diabetes.
“The catering staff here even created a modified menu for me. They make low carb meals which keep my insulin levels at ease,” said Krystal.
Krystal participated in just about every program offered at Samaritan House since moving in February. She was provided with parenting resources to prepare for Nevaeh’s birth, including programs such as the Mommy and Me group that gathers weekly and Cooking Matters.
The Samaritan House team offers on-site therapy and case management. They have been such close allies in fact, that when Krystal’s water broke in May 2022, Krystal ran right to Housing Navigator, Reva Stone, for assistance. Reva helped pack her hospital bag and take her to the ambulance.
Krystal and Neveah are in the process of moving to Joshua Station, a two-year residential program for families with children.
“Samaritan House was such a blessing to me. I have more confidence than I ever did. I have made friends, when in the past, it was so hard to connect with others.” said Krystal. “I am excited for this new chapter and, after we get our housing, I will come back to visit so that Neveah can bring her smiles to everyone at Samaritan House.”