In the same week, I found out I was losing my job, my apartment, and that I was pregnant. I did not know what I was going to do. I attended child care classes regularly. I searched and searched for jobs, but no one would hire a pregnant woman. A good friend helped me out during my pregnancy, but I could not live there permanently. I tried to find housing, but due to certain restrictions here, and no space there, it was one no after another. The social worker at the child care class found the Carrie Simon House number and called it. Yes! They had an available room. It was all uphill from there.
When I became a teen mom at age 17, my relationship with my mother declined, and I was forced to move out with my daughter when she was a few months old. Prior to us coming to live at Carrie Simon House, we were always jumping from house to house, living with friends of friends and sometimes in places that were extremely uncomfortable.
Moving to Carrie Simon House was one of the biggest milestones of our lives!
When I arrived at the doorstep of the Carrie Simon House in 1996, I was homeless, broken and angry. I was a 19 year old ward of the court who was trying her best to navigate through life with the cards that life had dealt me. All I needed was some stability and a chance to make a decent life for me and my son. This is exactly what the Carrie Simon House gave me! It was there that I learned that anyone can be family. I became acquainted with a wonderful group of women; I had a great case manager and a terrific mentor. My experiences at the Carrie Simon House afforded me the opportunity to finally focus on my future and worry less about my past.
The Carrie Simon House provided me with shelter, guidance, and hope that everything would be ok. Nell, the former Carrie Simon House chair, believed in me from the beginning. Her inviting smile and caring nature made me feel special and safe. Jeanine, the former case manager, cared about the women and wanted us all to succeed. When I first got to the house, I was so mentally drained from the previous year, that I had fallen into a depression. I did not know if I was coming or going. My mentor JoAnn took her time to listen to me. She talked to me, and helped me realize what was truly important. Her favorite motto was "just do it!!" For some reason, it stuck with me from that point on. The Carrie Simon House is not just a place. They truly care, and it is felt in the heart.
I say to current and future residents- whatever trials or tribulations you have endured that led you to being at the Carrie Simon House - I invite you to leave it at the door. You have walked into a loving and supportive family. Stay positive, even in the face of adversity. I won’t say the road is easy, but it will be worth it in the end.
I am very proud to say that I will be celebrating seven years of employment at my job next February. I am happily married to a wonderful man who is my best friend. We also take pride in being first time home buyers.
From the moment that I first received that call of acceptance into the program, I was very welcomed by the house members and was assigned my very own case manager and life mentor. My daughter and I had our own spacious room, and everything was so well kept. Although I had some challenges at first with the structure and rules, living there was overall the greatest life changing experience ever! The people that I met during my stay at Carrie Simon House, and the new perspective I gained on my future has built my character and helped me aspire to more in life.
During our 2-year residence at Carrie Simon House, I opened up my first checking/savings account, and with the help of my mentor, I was able to save enough money to buy my first car, begin my first year of College at UDC, advocate for teen parents and youths in my community through local organizations like New Heights Teen Parenting Coaching Program for DCPS High School Students, and I even won a $5,000 scholarship! I also got an internship at the DC Office of Youth Engagement. Our Case Manager helped me with the rental assistance as I made the transition to move to our first apartment. I am now 23 and work as a medical assistant in the Neurology Department at a local hospital. My daughter is a first grader and doing well in school. She remains my living motivation for all my goals, and I love her very much. I will never forget how much Carrie Simon House and its dedicated volunteers changed our lives forever. THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
I enrolled in Montgomery College, worked two jobs, and found a great child care facility for my son. I was on my way, and before you know it, I had saved up enough money to move out into a place of my own. Today, The Carrie Simon House is still home to me. As an alumni I still feel a strong sense of connection with the organization. This program has changed my life forever. Today, I am a 36 year old mother of 3 with a 13 year federal career, a part-time cake pop business and on my way to earning my BS in Human Services Management. As for the kid who walked across the thresholds of the house with me? He is a terrific 19 year who is finishing his second semester at Montgomery College and works in the restaurant field! Thank you Carrie Simon House for giving us a new beginning!
“Moving to Carrie Simon House was one of the biggest milestones of our lives!”
“The Carrie Simon House provided me with shelter, guidance, and hope that everything would be ok.”
“Carrie Simon House afforded me the opportunity to finally focus on my future and worry less about my past.”
More than 100 women and their children have benefited from the Carrie Simon House. See how Carrie Simon House helped these resilient women transform their lives.
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