- Jaleen: I would not be where I’m standing today if it were not for you.
Jaleen became homeless in 2011 after fleeing an abusive relationship. She and her children moved into her parents' basement and slept on an air mattress, but that situation was short-lived: when her parents lost their home to foreclosure, Jaleen and her kids were left with nowhere to go.
She felt broken. But, she was ready to break out of the dead-end cycle she was stuck in. Feeling desperate for a better life for her kids, Jaleen reached out to Bridge Communities.
- Allison: "I want my daughters to have a better life than I did, and I won’t stop until I can provide that for them.”
It hasn’t been an easy road to success for Allison*. Originally from western Illinois, she grew up in a home with both parents addicted to drugs and guilty of neglect. When she was 14, Allison was assaulted by a classmate. She soon left school due to the bullying that followed. She found a job to pay for her homeschooling fees, but her mother forced her to quit both in order to take care of her younger siblings. When Allison fell in love, she thought her life would finally change for the better.
And it did—for a time. She had two daughters with her partner, completed her GED and college. Unfortunately, their life was far from perfect. He was emotionally and physically abusive toward Allison, and stood in the way of her education. “Often he sabotaged my attempts to attend school by refusing to drive me there, making me late, or not letting me sleep or study,” she says. “The physical abuse had only been directed toward me in the past, but in 2010, he began to abuse our five-year-old daughter, too.”
- Debbie: "My mindset is different now"
A few years ago, Debbie was a stay-at-home mom, married for 16 years. Then, a difficult divorce rocked her world. She lost her home, and with no income to provide for her kids, had to move her family in with her sister. “I had just gone through the divorce and my finances were in shambles, so we lived with her in her Bolingbrook home as a temporary situation,” she recalls. “After about a year, I started to look around to find what resources would be available to us.”
A neighbor of her sister’s told her about Bridge Communities, and Debbie decided to call and inquire. Within 48 hours, Debbie came to the office for an interview. A month later, Bridge offered Debbie and her family a Glen Ellyn apartment in the Transitional Housing program.