Alyssa, like most mothers, only wants what is best for her children, but her own childhood wasn’t easy.
Now 22, she describes her upbringing as “wishy-washy.” She says there was violence, abuse and drug addiction throughout her family as she was growing up. Determined to start a new life for herself, she moved to New York City. But barriers were immediately placed in her way when her housing plans were derailed. As a result, she found herself homeless and sleeping at Penn Station at just 18-years-old.
Alyssa Finds Hope at Streetwork Project
Alyssa eventually found herself at Safe Horizon’s Streetwork Project, our drop-in program for homeless youth. With our support and access to critical resources (such as emergency shelter, food and clothing), Alyssa has rebuilt. She says that we have been “a pivotal thing in her life.” Director Francis Aponte-Veras reflects on the experience of homeless parents, saying, “So many people think that if you’re homeless that you can’t be a good parent.” But it’s clear that Alyssa is a great mother. She is now a married mother of two young healthy children with a full-time job.
Watch the video above to see Alyssa’s tearful story about what it means for her to be a mom and be able to take care of her children.