A Home for The Holidays: Detroit Family Finds Housing After Homelessness

Dec 20, 2023

Zelanda has had a rough three years. Struggling with homelessness while taking care of her three boys. Her situation was complicated further by the lasting impact of COVID on shelters.

“Due to COVID there were no rooms in the shelters. So, I was sleeping in my van with my kids. Through winter storms,” she said.

Her luck began to change in 2023 when she met her caseworker Ms. Chatman. Zelanda was able to finally get a room in the shelter with her help. Then, after years of being on the Section 8 housing list, she was pulled to the top.

“They explained to me I could get rapid rehousing, where they paid for my housing for up to 18 months. So, it’s just been blessing after blessing.”

Moral support from Ms. Chatman has been a blessing as well, receiving encouragement and love.

“I had Ms. Chatman along to talk to, to encourage me to be hopeful. She told me, ‘Usually this doesn’t happen, this is the grace of God that your name got pulled to the top of the list.’ It was God working in my favor.”

She has also received Christmas assistance from the Conner Creek Corps, including a gift card for groceries and a toy for her son. But greatest gift of all is having a house.

“Every day my kids scream out ‘I’m so happy, I love our home, I love our home!’ This is probably the best Christmas they’ve ever had.”

She’s not out of the woods though: she is currently in need of a stove, furniture and bedding for her house. But being in need herself has not kept her from thinking of others she saw in the shelter as well.

“There were people in there who were worse off than me. Kids who didn’t even have a car to sleep in. So even when I was at the shelter, I donated clothes that were too small for me. Anything I could do to help somebody else. It’s saved lives.”

If you’ve been inspired by Zelanda’s story and would like to help people just like her, you can donate to The Salvation Army now. And thanks to The Consortium of Hope, all donations from now till New Year’s Eve will be doubled.




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