When Jennifer walked toward the doors of Samaritan House with her two young girls, she started crying.
“I just didn’t want to be there. It’s not where I wanted my girls. I felt like the worst mom,” she said.
Jennifer first came to Colorado from Arizona to reunite her daughters with their father. When plans failed and money ran short, the father dropped them off at the downtown Denver shelter and tossed out their belongings.
“It was very difficult,” Jennifer said. “You see all kinds of people sleeping on the streets and that’s not where you want your girls to think that’s a safe place to be.”
In need of food and shelter, she entered Samaritan House’s four-month program for families. Jennifer had weekly meetings with a case manager, found clothing for her family and a good school for her two daughters. She also applied for affordable housing.
The shelter’s family services supervisor, Rebecca Wiman, said the program gives families the tools to succeed and avoid falling back into homelessness.
“We’re doing ground-level work to try and reduce homelessness in Colorado,” Rebecca said. “We’re providing the foundation for clients to succeed on their own. With our donor support, we can do immense things with families, with singles, with veterans, to hopefully end the cycle of homelessness.”
The experience changed Jennifer.
“I saw how much the Samaritan House program helps people, and it made me believe again,” Jennifer said. “It restored my faith in humanity and gave me hope that it was going to get better.”
She said she has deep gratitude for Samaritan House.
“They’ve given my daughters a chance at having something more substantial in their life,” Jennifer shared. “Without this place, I don’t know where me and my girls would be. I just feel like there aren’t even enough words to say thank you for giving me my life back.”