MAKING DREAMS COME TRUE…
I had a chance to sit down with Fairouz, a recent graduate of Ferry Street Apartments, one of our long-term, educational, transitional housing programs. She had a lot of wonderful things to say about our programs.
Fairouz and her two children found themselves homeless in 2016. Her Egyptian husband demanded they move to his country. When Fairouz rejected the idea, he opened the door and asked them to leave. Because Fairouz’s marriage had fallen apart rather abruptly, she found herself with some difficult decisions. She had moved to the United States with no family and married a man she believed would always be part of her life. Now she was homeless and had nothing. The family moved into the Shelter as soon as an apartment became available.
When I first met Fairouz, she was very quiet and timid. English was not her first language, so she was unsure of voicing her concerns or her opinions. She was thankful for the clothing, household goods, and food items the Shelter provided when she had come with nothing. Fairouz states that with the Shelter’s help, she was able to walk proudly, feel more independent, and build up her self-esteem. Fairouz started gathering friends, which she calls family, and started getting things in order. First, she got a job and started saving money. Next, she signed up at the local community college and put in an application for our transitional housing.
Fairouz was accepted into the Ferry Street program in the early spring of 2017 and attributes her success to all of the people who helped her along the way. She had many successes in our program. She took two years of classes at Northampton Community College, got a driver’s license, bought a car, and started the nursing program at Moravian College. She has worked hard on mastering English (it’s her third language) and has put the mandatory parenting classes to good use. She says that the guidance she received from her counselor in the program is what gave her strength, even when she was struggling. Right before she graduated from the Ferry Street program, she became a U.S. citizen!
This beautiful family now lives in a house, with a yard, in a neighborhood they love. Fairouz’s mother, whom she has not seen for years, was able to visit from Europe. Fairouz is currently working part-time, managing a family and attending Moravian College. When asked where she sees herself in five years, she said she would like to have her Bachelor’s degree in nursing, continue for a PhD, and buy her first home, while also sending her kids to the best schools and colleges.
It is with the help of people like you, that our long-term transitional housing programs are able to help families like Fairouz’s to get an education, become successful and have dreams and plans for the next generation. Thank you for continuing to support our programs.