Meet Laniece J.

When Laniece J., her two young sons and her newborn baby were evicted from their apartment, they took a journey familiar to many families facing homelessness.

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Two weeks into her new job, Laniece finally found an apartment with the help of Win’s specialists. Laniece says she is grateful everyday for finally having a place she and her children can call home.

When Laniece J., her two young sons and her newborn baby were evicted from their apartment, they took a journey familiar to many families facing homelessness. They gathered what remaining possessions they had and went to NYC’s homeless intake center in the Bronx, the Prevention Assistance and Temporary Housing intake center, commonly known as PATH. At first, PATH placed Laniece and her three children in a hotel on Atlantic Avenue in East New York, where they lived – without a refrigerator or stove – for eight months. Despite applying for dozens of affordable housing lotteries, Laniece never heard back from any.

Then she got the news that she and her children were being relocated to a nearby Win shelter. The quality of care and support at Win were vastly different than the City shelter. “When I got there, it was like ‘Oh my God — home,’” Laniece says. “I had a stove to cook for my kids, I had a real fridge to put stuff in.” Win offered housing specialists, child care, after-school programs, numerous caseworkers, a food pantry, and an array of support services. Her housing specialist informed her that she qualified for CITYFEPS, a rental supplement program and helped her enroll in the program. Laniece worked with a Win job specialist who helped her secure her current job at the Burlington Coat Factory. Two weeks into her new job, Laniece finally found an apartment with the help of Win’s specialists. Laniece says she is grateful every day for finally having a place she and her children can call home.

Meet Shantee

Shantee grew up in foster care for her entire adolescent life. When she was only six years old, her foster parent began to sexually abuse her – abuse which lasted for six years before she was placed into a new home.

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This time, PATH placed Shantee and Keyana at a Win shelter, where they found the security and resources needed to start rebuilding their lives

Shantee grew up in foster care for her entire adolescent life. When she was only six years old, her foster parent began to sexually abuse her – abuse which lasted for six years before she was placed into a new home. When Shantee became pregnant in high school, she was forced out of the foster house and, with nowhere else to turn, moved in with her boyfriend. When the boyfriend started to physically abuse not just her, but her newborn daughter, Keyana, she packed up their things and left in the middle of the night. At first, they were placed in a domestic abuse shelter. After several months, they were eligible to receive a City voucher that would cover their rent, and they moved into an apartment in Far Rockaway. For two years they lived happily in a stable environment, but when the voucher ended, they were, again, completely uprooted: evicted and forced to leave their home, school, and lives.

This time, PATH placed Shantee and Keyana at a Win shelter, where they found the security and resources needed to start rebuilding their lives. Win counselors helped Shantee apply for public assistance and food stamps, while income building specialists helped her find training as a home health aide. One year later, Shantee, now working fulltime as a home health aide, was able to move out of shelter. As Shantee puts it, Win was there for her every step of the way. Working with staff, Shantee used money from her income tax refund to pay for the first month’s rent, broker’s fee, and the security deposit for a new apartment.

Today, Shantee and her daughter, Keyana, have lived in their own apartment for nearly a decade. Shantee has gone back to school and graduated with her Associate’s degree in Spring of 2019.  Read about Keyana’s story below.

Meet Keyana

Seven years ago, Keyana arrived at a Win residence with her mom. The two had been evicted from their apartment and had no place else to turn.

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With nowhere else to go they went back to PATH and were placed in a Win shelter, which as Keyana explains, gave them a new lease on life.

Seven years ago, Keyana arrived at a Win residence with her mom, Shantee, whose story is above.  The two had been evicted from their apartment and had no place else to turn. It was not their first time experiencing homelessness — as a child, Keyana and her mom lived with her physically abusive biological father.

When PATH finally placed her and her mom in a Win shelter, shelter, the duo got a new lease on life, as Keyana says. There she found a community. They moved out of shelter in less than a year, and Win helped them find a new, permanent home. Keyana continues to thrive, she has just graduated from high school and is looking forward to college in the fall.

Meet Jocelyn

Jocelyn and her two young children arrived at Win’s East Harlem shelter after escaping from a domestic abuse situation. At the time, Jocelyn was seven months pregnant and working 60 hour-weeks.

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Jocelyn received mental health support and took classes in financial literacy - supportive services that Win offers at all of our shelters.

Jocelyn and her two young children arrived at Win’s East Harlem shelter after escaping from a domestic abuse situation. At the time, Jocelyn was seven months pregnant and was struggling to meet ends meet, working 60 hour-weeks.

Jocelyn, like many others, arrived at Win after being in and out of shelters for the past nine years.

Win was the first place Jocelyn had ever been that made her feel that made her feel comfortable and protected in a way that she had never felt before. Jocelyn received mental health support and took classes in financial literacy — supportive services that Win offers at all of our shelters. After giving birth to her third child, Jocelyn suffered from post-partum depression, and it was only through the help of Win’s staff that she was able to seek treatment. Her social worker held individual counseling sessions with her and signed her up for a Mommy and Me group which provided social support. While she worked on getting back on her feet, her two oldest children attended Win’s after school recreation program.

Once better, Jocelyn started working with Win’s income building specialists to find steady employment. She interviewed for a union job through a Win training partnership — which she got. During the work days, Jocelyn’s youngest is enrolled in Win’s on-site childcare. Today, Jocelyn looks forward to a brighter future, and is working with her Win housing specialist to find an apartment for her family.