Melissa joined us with her new born son after being raised by her Grandmother. Her own Mother dealt with alcoholism and did not have much time for her. Melissa works in a retail store full time and was able to move out of Siena House in June 2009 into a Housing Prevention Development apartment, a subsidized apartment program, but still has her name on the apartment. Her Siena House Case Worker told Melissa if she can prove to her, once she leaves Siena House that she will focus on her son and herself, her worker would always be there to help. Melissa has been able to rise to that challenge, with her son attending a Charter school in Manhattan, has still kept her job, and has opened up her first savings account. She has even been able to reestablish a relationship with her Mother. Her Siena House Case Manager has continued to provide support and advice to this former Resident.
Veronica was admitted to Siena House due to her status as a victim of Domestic Violence as well as being undocumented. Once Veronica was in a safe environment for herself and her daughter she was determined to find a way to earn some money. Her daughter was a citizen by birth and thereby eligible for Public Assistance but Veronica needed to supplement this in-order to save enough to become self-sufficient. She worked at housekeeping wherever anyone would want her to clean their apartment or house. She was even traveling to Brooklyn and Queens to be sure that she got the money for her and her daughter needs and to save money so she could eventually move.
Our staff at Siena House helped Veronica open a bank account with her passport from her country and a proof of residency letter. They escorted Veronica to the bank, to act as an interpreter just in case the bank did not have a Spanish speaking employee.
As an undocumented citizen Veronica was also referred to Mercy Center for assistance in applying for a Green Card that would permit her to get a permanent job. Veronica was successful in obtaining her Green Card in 2010 and she then completed a Home Health Attendant training and continued her cleaning business. She is presently working as HHA employee in Brooklyn. Due to her DV status this family was able to move out of Siena House in April of 2009 to an apartment in the Bronx where she is still living. Every year around Christmas time Veronica returns to Siena House and she brings some toys and other donations for our women.
Christina was born in Jamaica, and was at Siena House with her new born daughter, who is now thirteen years old. She moved out with EARP (Emergency Assistance Repair Program) Section 8 on September 2002 into permanent housing. Christina had lost so much over her young years, two of her brothers died violently in Jamaica in the same year, and the next year her mother died of a heart attack. She has been able to successfully manage her family through those sorrows. As a single mother, now of two girls, she has continued to keep her job working security and maintain her apartment. Christina has become a part of her Case Worker’s family and has continued to get the support she needs. She visits Siena House and often speaks about the safety Siena House provided and her gratefulness to Siena House.
Ashley joined us at Siena House with her new born daughter in 2003. She was able to get a job at Sport’s Stadium and has a second job working security. In her conversations with her Case Manager she often speaks about how grateful she was for the Christmas and birthday celebrations at Siena House and is thankful for her time at Siena House. She moved out into permanent housing in September 2005 with Housing Stability Plus, a subsidy provided by New York City and still has her apartment.
Juanita was admitted to Siena House in November 2009 with her 3 day old baby boy. She was so determined to be able to move to her own apartment that she immediately wanted to get training as a HHA. She began this training before her baby was 3 months old the age that DHS and HRA mandate that a mother on PA obtain work to continue on PA. Juanita was supported in her efforts because Siena House could provide her with Child Care for her baby at our nursery while she was attending her training.
Juanita started working and saving for her apartment and in November 2010 she moved to permanent housing with Work Advantage Program. Her apartment is located in the Bronx, NY.
Juanita continued working and saving as much as she could because she had another child living in Dominican Republic with her mother and she wanted to bring them both to the United States. Juanita has kept in contact with Siena House by calling her Case Worker from time to time. Her last contact was to inform her that she was able to bring her other son and her mother to live with her. Juanita has since married and moved to Pennsylvania and she is still working as a HHA.
Larixa became homeless due to conflict in her home and was admitted to Siena House in August of 2007 with her 6 month old son. She started a full time training program and demonstrated that she was committed to an educational process that would require several years of training. This program would support her education and determination to build a better future for her family was identified and with the recommendation of her Case Manager and Housing Specialist at Siena House and she applied for the Semi-Perm Program.
Semi-Perm Program would provide an apartment for a single Mother who is studying and working for 2 years. Another requirement of the program is Larixa needed to attend counseling and workshops to prepare for the time when they would be living on their own. If they comply with the Semi-Perm Program requirements, Larixa would be eligible for a Section 8 voucher. Larixa was accepted into Semi-Perm Program and moved in May of 2009. Larixa complied with Semi-Perm Program as mandated and she moved after the 2 years to an apartment with Section 8 Program as expected. Presently, Larixa is living in the Bronx, NY. She has started her own business as a Child Care Provider. She has her license from New York City and she reports that she is doing very well.