Buffy’s StoryPosted on December 9th, 2018
We slept at a bus stop that night.
I remember the culmination of events that led to the lowest point of my life. I had my five young children with me, and we had nowhere to go. We were on the street after two years of staying with my family and living in and out of motel rooms with my youngest son’s dad. With all my kids bundled up in a shopping cart, we trudged to a convenience store and used our food stamps to buy something to eat. We slept at a bus stop that night. I felt scared, depressed, and hopeless. I knew I wanted something better for my babies. I needed help.
I found help at a Minneapolis hospital emergency room. They connected me with a local shelter where we stayed for several months. I was grateful, but it was difficult to create normalcy for my kids in the stressful shelter environment, especially while managing the significant health needs of my youngest child.
I worked hard to take care of my family. I maintained a temporary job. I balanced my checkbook and saved. I modeled patience and accessed resources for my kids. Each week, I followed my checklist to find stable housing for my family. I knew my kids deserved better.
Then it happened. I found out about Simpson Housing Services and secured my family’s place in their long-term family housing program. Our lives changed for the better. I pursued and achieved an associate degree. My older kids were involved in daily tutoring and enrichment activities. I appreciated the support I received at a monthly parenting class. What mattered most was having a place to lay my head. Being able to say we had an address was huge to me. Having stable housing made it possible to focus on my job and take care of my kids. It took away the burden and the anxiety.
It’s been 17 years since I exited Simpson’s program. I’ve been living in my own home and working for Hennepin County all this time. I went back to school and obtained my bachelor’s degree. I still enjoy opening my home to family and friends. My five children live nearby, and I have six beautiful glambabies. It feels so good to have a stable home base for my family.
Simpson still has a special place in my heart. I look for ways to give back and do what I can.
Four years ago, I joined Simpson’s board of directors. I find it meaningful to provide the voice of someone who has experienced homelessness. I also enjoy volunteering and helping with hands-on projects like fundraising and serving meals at the shelter.
I have experienced first-hand how Simpson Housing Services creates a stable and hopeful future for people experiencing homelessness. I have given back to Simpson to make sure this important and collaborative work continues in our community.
Will you play an important role in ending homelessness by making a gift today?
We appreciate your continued support of Simpson’s mission: to house, support, and advocate for people experiencing homelessness. Your donation will increase Simpson’s impact on homelessness, one person at a time, just like it did for my family.
Together, we can end homelessness.
Board Member (2014-present)