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Yvonne

“My future is now bright thanks to Bridge and my mentors."

Most families that participate in Bridge Communities’ Transitional Housing Program take about two years to make their way from homelessness to self-sufficiency.  But not Yvonne Hernandez.  With help from her Bridge mentors, Yvonne used the tools and skills she discovered she already had and established a wonderful new life for herself and her three children in just over 15 months!

Yvonne Hernandez entered Bridge Communities’ Transitional Housing Program April 1st, 2010.  The divorced mother of three young children – Alan, Anais, and Andre – had been living with her ex-husband’s parents for a year prior and didn’t realize that she and her kids fit the definition of “homeless.” 

“I did not think I was homeless because [my ex in-laws] have always made me feel that their home was also my home and my children's home since I had lived there with my ex before our divorce,” Yvonne explained.  “It was a tough thing to swallow when I entered the Bridge program and realized that since I could not provide a "roof" over my children’s heads, we were considered homeless…it was very hard to accept.”

Yvonne’s sister had a friend who had been in Bridge’s Transitional Housing Program, and when they recommended it to Yvonne, she took the next step to apply and was accepted into the Program.

Although Yvonne had her associate’s degree in Medical Assisting and had worked at her current job for five years, she felt an overwhelming sense of hopelessness because she felt she would never be able to provide for her children because of her financial debt.

Yvonne credits her mentors from Glen Ellyn Bible Church with helping her overcome her despair to see that she could not only hope for but strive for a brighter future.  Yvonne’s mentors taught her that she was already equipped with the tools and skills she needed to take on the challenges life had presented her; she just needed to use them effectively and persevere to create a better life for her family.

Yvonne gratefully credited her mentors with helping her identify and achieve her goals, saying, “My mentors have helped me achieve both the short- and long-term goals I had.  My short-term goals included paying off my debts, including school loans, and I achieved this.  My long-term goal was to one day be a homeowner, and because of their help, I am now a homeowner!”

But her mentors were much more than financials advisors and accountability partners.

“My mentors are my family.  They were always a phone call away and attended to both mine and my children’s needs.  They showed me and have taught me so many things that are essential to being a single mom.  Because of my mentors, I have become a self-sufficient, responsible and determined person.”

These days, Yvonne continues her work as a Medical Assistant at a urology office in Chicago’s western suburbs. 

“My future is now bright thanks to Bridge and my mentors,” she said joyfully.  As for her future goals?  “I plan to enjoy my new home in West Chicago with my children and make many wonderful memories.”

When asked what she would like to say to families struggling with the same sense of despair Yvonne felt just 16 months ago, she had this to share: “To anyone reading this story, I hope they would be inspired.  With perseverance, persistence, patience and love, all things are possible.  I am now enjoying life with my children, and I have Bridge and especially my mentors for making my life sweeter.”

Client update

Yvonne and her three children are happily settled in their new Habitat home.

Read more client success stories »

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According to the DuPage Homeless Continuum of Care, nearly 73,000 DuPage County residents are living in poverty and just one paycheck away from homelessness--and 10.5% of these residents are children.