Homelessness split her family in four pieces . . .

Verlisha was born and raised right here locally in Durham. But since the economy changed in 2008, she found her high school education didn’t allow her to compete for a living wage job in the Triangle area.

Most employers had become accustomed to seeing a college degree on a resume. Occasionally she would be hired on a contract basis, but when the project was finished, she was unemployed again.

She and her children ended up homeless for four long years. In her own words:

“The hardest part was giving the children faith that everything was going to be ok when I didn’t have it. That was tough. I was thinking . . . if I just kept applying, that job was going to come along and the boys and I were going to be ok. That did not happen.”

Her children suffered from constantly changing schools, bouncing from one kind person’s couch to another’s, and the uncertainty of not knowing if they would have enough to eat or a place to lay their heads at night. One day her oldest son asked:

“Why is this happening to us?”

Verlisha didn’t have an answer. And as she saw the toll homelessness was taking, she made the very painful decision to relinquish her children to three loving, but separate foster homes.

A social worker suggested she go to Raleigh Rescue Mission to get stabilized before the deadline arrived when they would have to be adopted.

Verlisha felt like a failure. But she didn’t want to lose her kids. So she humbled herself and came to the Mission.

“The Mission was my last chance to get my kids back,” said Verlisha.

That first day was so much more than three meals, a shower, clean clothes and a night of shelter. It was the beginning of a whole new life for Verlisha.

She immediately grasped the opportunity she had in our recovery program. She blasted through all our life and job skills classes, found work and moved into her own apartment in just seven months!

Now she can be a mom to her children again.

This family is grateful to everyone who made help at the Mission possible in their hour of need!

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