At 32, I was a divorced, single mom with a cancer diagnosis who was barely making ends meet. I chose to hide behind the only coping tool I’d known since the ​age of 17, meth. I quickly lost everything; my home, my job, my kids, my health, and my freedom. In jail, I joined the Woman’s Reentry Program, designed to help women like me rejoin the world in a healthier way. It was in this program that I was first introduced to Love INC Allegan County.

Years later, and many struggles and successes along the way, I lived at a friend’s house while on probation amidst my medical issues stemming from chemo and a renewed sobriety. My probation officer suggested Love INC’s LIFE Skills program as a way to help me achieve long term help and sustainability. Here, I learned about the Homes of Hope Program where my kids and I could live without worry of homelessness while in relationship with God and the Church. I could get healthy, stay sober, pay debt, build credit, become more employable, and eventually establish sustainable housing.

The next step in this life transforming process for me is the 10 Homes Program—sustainable housing I can afford where I won’t have to choose between heat or food or rent. For the first time in my life, I have hope that this home will give me a place to build from.

For an update on Erin’s story, click here!

*For the sake of privacy, the writer of this story’s name has been changed.