They say it takes a village to help raise someone and move them forward on their journey. For me, that village was Abby’s House.
My name is Miranda and I’m 25 years old. I was born in Tennessee but grew up constantly moving from place to place. My mother worked as a contract Hematology Technician, collecting and testing blood samples for cancer. Each time her contract was up or she got laid off, she’d look for work where she could, having to support me, my older brother and father. When my mother was at work, I helped take care of my brother who has a mental disability and my father who was legally blind. As I entered my teenage years my father’s health began to decline, and I put my schooling on hold to become his primary caregiver. When I was 22 years old my mother took a job in Virginia, and that’s when my journey took a sharp turn.
Shortly after arriving in Virginia my father’s health worsened and he ended up passing away from a stroke. I got a job to help support my mother and brother, but it wasn’t enough, and we were about to be evicted. Thankfully, my mother found a new job, so we packed up and were on the road again. Within three months of arriving to our new home however, my mother ended up passing away from cancer. At the age of 23 I found myself on my own with no money, no education, and no means to support myself or my brother who needed me.
I found the number for an aunt I had never met and before I knew it, my brother and I were on a plane headed to Massachusetts. As soon as we arrived my aunt helped get my brother situated and on social security. She helped me in any way she could, but staying with her wasn’t a permanent option. After living with her for almost a year I had to figure out my next step. I did an internet search for homeless shelters in the area and found Abby’s House.
I’ve always felt like my life was a roller coaster with constant ups and downs, but as soon as I came to Abby’s House I felt like I was finally on a path towards gaining stability. People say that when times are tough all you need to do is pull up your bootstraps and you’ll be okay. In my experience, I’ve found that you can pull up your bootstraps, but everyone needs a little help now and then. If it weren’t for Abby’s House and the support I received from this community, I don’t know where I’d be today. Since coming to Abby’s House I’ve found a job, have moved from shelter into one of their supportive housing units, completed my G.E.D. and plan on going to college to study Criminal Justice.
I’m still on my journey of coming into my own as a person, but I know that without this community and the support I received, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Even through this pandemic and all the uncertainty that remains, there’s one constant that I can rely on, and it’s that Abby’s House will be here for me and for others who need it. I know firsthand that your kindness and generosity goes a long way when a person is trying to stand on their own two feet again.