Stable Housing Provides the Foundation for a Family to Move Forward


Frances is a fighter. Her family suffered financial hardship, job loss, and then eviction. In spite of this, Frances kept her family together. While Frances continued to apply for jobs, she and her three children relocated from shelter to shelter. The constant upheaval and added stress of managing all the siblings resulted in failing grades for her eldest daughter.

Frances remembers how shaken up she was when she and her family moved into NVFS’ SERVE Family Emergency Shelter in Manassas: “I didn’t know if I was going to work or have a place to call home again.” Every day, Frances would submit job applications to businesses in the Manassas area. While she did this, Frances’ mother watched the kids.

At one point Frances spun signs for a restaurant in the sweltering heat of summer. Every morning she would walk from the shelter to the restaurant and back again after her shift. Once she demonstrated that she could hold a job, the SERVE staff began looking at how they could transition the family out of the shelter to a permanent home.

Eventually the housing locators identified a home where the family could settle. Together, she and her mother pooled their resources to leave SERVE’s shelter. To help get them started, NVFS provided rent and utility assistance. Then Frances obtained a job at the nearby university. They’ve now been settled for more than a year in their home.

Because Frances never gave up trying to make things better for her family, they are all together living independently.