Recover and Realize Your Future
What would you do if you and your children were suddenly homeless? Where would you turn to find resources to help you recover from the financial and emotional devastation that homelessness brings? Hopefully, you would find a place that offers the opportunity to recover quickly and with dignity from your situation - a place like The Drake House (TDH).
Designed to assist homeless families work toward self-sufficiency, The Drake House provides short-term crisis housing, education and empowerment programs for homeless mothers and their children in North Fulton County, GA.
Unfortunately, single mothers with children make up the fastest growing segment of the homeless population. If they are lucky, like Diane, they find a place to recover and start realizing their dreams.
This is Diane’s story. Her first-person account is a powerful success story. With access to resources proved by TDH, she was able to rise from homelessness to independence and self-sufficiency. Her plan is to now help others recover.
Although I was employed, I was not making enough money to cover all of my expenses. I was struggling to pay my rent from month to month and I was frequently late. The apartment complex was usually very accommodating. However, in May 2011, I was late with the rent as usual but the leasing manager would not accept a late payment. I was asked to leave. I do not have family in the area and my children and I did not have anywhere to go. I was able to afford a hotel room for a week, but after that we would have slept in the car or had to go to a real shelter, where my teenage son would have been separated from my daughter and me.The Drake House saved my life. The first night that I spent at The Drake House was the first time in several years that I felt safe. I thought I was just getting a break for the next three months. I did not know that it would completely turn my life around in such a positive way. The Drake House has an excellent reputation in the town of Roswell and hopefully they will become known on a larger platform and provide a model for other agencies.
The services of The Drake House have greatly impacted my life. I learned very valuable life skills such as creating boundaries and not allowing people to take advantage of me and thus putting me in a situation where I do not have enough resources to take care of my family. I learned strategies for budgeting on any income. The intake manager, who was also my case manager, taught me to use the envelope system to keep track of my spending. I was able to almost double my income by working with the career coach who provided me with strategies on how to market myself effectively. We completely reworked my resume. I was able to apply for positions and eventually get hired in the field of Technical Communications. The Drake House referred me to Homestretch where I lived in subsidized housing and was able to pay down a significant amount of debt and move into stabilized housing.
I plan to continue to pay down my debt and put myself in a position where I can purchase my own home. I plan to pursue additional employment opportunities that will provide multiple streams of income. I plan to continue to implement the budgeting strategies that I learned at The Drake House. In particular, I want to revisit the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace course and make sure that I continue to be conscious of where my money is being spent and cut corners wherever possible. And, I want to become a Drake House volunteer so that I can assist them in the great work that they are doing to stabilize families.
ABOUT DRAKE HOUSE
The Drake House is the only agency in the area offering an emergency residential program. In 2014, the program provided 14,091 bed nights to homeless mothers and children ensuring that 50 families were able to stay together.
To be accepted into The Drake House, participants must have a verifiable third party referral (typically a school or other local emergency service agency social worker) and must have a female head of household with a child/ren, infants to 18 years old.
The Drake House Keys to Family Success include housing, life skills workshops, children’s programs and mentoring support. Mothers and children attend weekly workshops that provide instruction in areas such as personal finance, health and wellness, organizational skills, boundary setting, nutrition and meal planning, and parenting.
Community and corporate supporters share The Drake House vision of a community where school buses do not stop at weekly rental motels and families have the opportunity to recover quickly and with dignity from their homeless situation.
“The Drake House is very proud of our partnership with State Farm,” says Drake House Executive Director Kathy Swahn. “Since we formed the organization in 2006, to serve homeless mothers and their children, State Farm has provided support though volunteerism, leadership and financial contributions.”
State Farm Systems Service Manager Genille McElvey is a member of the Drake House Advisory Council and chair of the 6th Annual Drake Walk. She loves supporting the Drake House and the work they do in her community, “the changes they are making in the lives of women and children are truly remarkable.”