Patricia first came to Illumination Foundation with her mother, Brenda, and her one-year-old son, Jeremiah. Patricia was working full time when she lost her pension due to an error made by the VA, but her income alone was not enough to pay for the apartment, and they soon became homeless. After spending time in their car and motels, they found a place at Illumination Foundation’s La Mesa Emergency Shelter and then were eventually transferred to Theriault House Family Emergency Shelter.

The entire time the family was in our shelters, Patricia worked hard at her job at UPS. Sometimes she would work 12–15-hour shifts, especially during the holidays. Jeremiah flourished while in our Children and Families Program. When he first came to our shelter, he wouldn’t leave his mother or grandmother’s side. Coming into our Parent and Me classes was a struggle. He would cry and scream for Grandma incessantly. When they arrived at Theriault House, Jeremiah was not speaking as much as he should have been for his age. Our staff utilized the Ages and Stages Questionnaire and found that he wasn’t meeting developmental milestones in three out of the five areas screened.

Jeremiah continued in our program and began to thrive. He is now talking in full sentences, happy to enter class to play with his friends and teachers, and he loves to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star,” among many other tunes. Upon the family’s exit from the shelter, Jeremiah was meeting developmental milestones in all the areas screened.

Patricia’s benefits from the VA were finally reinstated, and she is still working full time at UPS. The family recently moved out of Theriault House into their own apartment, and they are thrilled. Illumination Foundation helped the family find their new apartment and continue to work with them to ensure their continued success.