Jazzmine, a vivacious, energetic young lady, became homeless when the rent was raised on her family’s apartment. When their only option became the United Rescue Mission (URM), Jazzmine’s world turned upside down; she was dealing with fear and uncertainty. The family took two busses to get to the URM, and as they neared skid row, it was a sight she was not prepared for. “I saw more and more homeless people and started to get really scared,” she explained. “…and my mom started to cry.”

Finally after three months at the mission, they were transferred to Hope Gardens, the URM’s transitional housing campus that provides sanctuary to single women and children who are experiencing homelessness. “It was like going from a nightmare to a dream…where everything is life.”

Unfortunately, a public-school counselor told her that she wasn’t going to graduate, that he just didn’t see it happening for her. She was devastated but didn’t let it keep her down. Staff at Hope Gardens told her about Learn4Life, so she enrolled and immediately got the encouragement she needed. “They were able to help me and support me and get me to a place I needed to be.”

Jazzmine graduated last summer and has dreams of a cosmetology career.

Written By:
Ann Abajian
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