Sharon Adams with her grandniece
Edited by Thekla Rura-Polley, Associate Director of Development
Sharon, her grandson, and grandniece became homeless when she left a difficult housing situation. She did not feel safe and had multiple issues with the management company. Even though she is from the area, Sharon did not have any other relatives or friends who could take her in without jeopardizing their own housing. With nowhere to go, Sharon then learned about Project Home. She liked that it was a program based in area churches, synagogues and religious schools. Sharon says, “God places you where you need to be, whether it’s a blessing or struggle.” Project Home turned out to be a blessing for her family. Looking back on her time in the program, Sharon shared, “I don’t know where my family would be if Project Home hadn’t been there.” Volunteers welcomed her family, treated them as individuals, and did whatever they could to support her family.
Family homelessness is an invisible crisis in our state. According to Wilder Research, Homelessness in Minnesota – 2015, “Children who are homeless with their parents make up over one-third of the homeless population in Minnesota, and nearly half of these children are age 5 or younger. The majority of homeless children are living only with their mother or other female caregiver.” Families experience homelessness for a variety of reasons. Some families leave domestic violence situations, some are in recovery from addiction, and still others struggle with mental health challenges. Many families come from intergenerational poverty and lack the skills, education, and employment to maintain stable housing. Each year, Project Home supports over a hundred local families recovering from the multiple losses and traumas of homelessness.
Today, Sharon works as Family Program Associate at The Family Place, a day center for families without permanent housing. Project Home works closely with The Family Place. Families spend the evening and night with area faith communities through Project Home, and participate in programs at The Family Place during the day. Sharon enjoys her job – giving back to the people who helped her. Now she is the one to give encouragement to other families and can speak from personal experience: “I have been where you are today. I know it’s hard. It takes a lot of strength to go through shelter. You are doing it for the kids.”
Sharon wishes more members of the faith community would get involved with the issue of family homelessness. “When you are homeless, you go into your shell; you become shy, embarrassed. When you go to Project Home, you can breathe, you can sleep. It’s safe in God’s house; a safe haven.” She says that Project Home “makes the families feel like somebody cares, because somebody actually cares.”
To learn more about Project Home, please contact: