“It’s been a struggle, but me and my boys make the best of any situation we’re in.”
Almost three years ago, LaTanya was a stay-at- home mom of three school-aged boys living in her own home. She’d never been without a secure home and was fully committed to making the best life for her sons, whom she calls “her world.”
When she and her husband of 9 years went through a divorce she calls “a bad one,” she thought she would be able to at least keep their house in order to provide a stable environment for her sons. LaTanya’s ex-husband, however, pressured her into selling the house and then took the majority of the money.
Unable to afford rent on her own, LaTanya stayed with her mom for about a year. While this support system kept her and her sons housed, the situation was not ideal. LaTanya didn’t want her sons to move from their original school in Denver where they’d been thriving, but the commute from her mom’s house in Thornton was a struggle. And, most importantly to LaTanya, she missed the sense of
independence and pride in having a place of her own.
Seeking out resources that would help her family get back on their feet, LaTanya found Family Promiseof Greater Denver, where she received temporary shelter, referrals to community resources, and support in her housing search. She’s since also stayed with Lambuth Family Center and is now with Family HomeStead, both temporary programs. She continues to apply for housing programs while
working full-time as a paralegal.
“People underestimate what it takes to have a home, a car and provide for a family”
Since losing her home, LaTanya completed her paralegal certification at Metro State University and secured a stable, full-time job at an attorney’s office. While she is grateful and proud of her job, LaTanya cautions to not over-estimate the security of employment. Even if someone has a job or appears to “have it all together,” they could still be experiencing homelessness or other hardships.
LaTanya wishes that people would have a better understanding that losing a home and experiencing challenges can happen to anyone. As someone who was raised to take pride in a presentable appearance, LaTanya has experienced the frustration of being told she doesn’t “look homeless.” This judgement not only invalidates her experiences, she says, it also perpetuates the stereotypes people
Despite the obstacles she’s faced, LaTanya maintains hope that she can secure a safe place for her family to call home. “I want to own a home again so that my sons don’t have to worry about where they’re going to be living from month-to- month,” she said. “It’s about making the best of every situation and not taking the easy way out.”
“I want to be a good role model for my boys, showing them I can handle this difficult
situation and survive.”