“We’ve lived in Florida since February 2019. I fled my home in Georgia due to a domestic violence situation.” She drove away with her two boys, 17-year old, William and 16-year old, Nicholas. “We ended up in Florida…were living in our car in the Wal-Mart parking lot.” It was tough, to never be homeless and now you’re homeless with your kids.” After two months, “someone got me connected with a domestic abuse shelter…they gave us Catholic Charities’ number. “
Pasco Women’s Shelter, an eight-month program for homeless women, took her in. “Catholic Charities helped me…to work because the boys could stay at the shelter…without me being there.” Jamilah caught a bus for work at 5:00 am and wouldn’t return home until 10:30 pm! “We were in the women’s shelter at the end of April until we moved here…July 1st.” Here is their three-bedroom apartment. Catholic Charities assisted through its ‘Rapid Rehousing’ program (helps low income families find affordable housing and pays move-in expenses). Jamilah believes, “everything happens the way God wants it to.” “It is a blessing.” “I found a job closer ‘cause I don’t like being…far…from the kids…” She now works retail and was promoted to Assistant Store Manager.
As for her boys, Jamilah says “William has always been a pillar of strength…and has self-esteem enough for a small country”, but “Niko had…a little bit of a rough patch.” Both boys are doing well in school and play football. William is being recruited by major universities for an athletic scholarship and Nicholas is looking forward to getting a job to pay for college.
Regarding aspirations for her family, Jamilah says “Eventually I’d like to get back into school…just having stability, a home for the boys…when they come back from college.” Jamilah says Catholic Charities “doesn’t make you feel like you are part of a program; more like a neighbor helping a neighbor. She’s thankful Catholic Charities helped “get us into a home and get us stable and back functioning as a normal family.”