Over 480 community members call a St. Ambrose rental property home. One of those community members is Ms. M, who has been a St. Ambrose resident for more than 20 years.
“This morning I was standing on the porch, enjoying the view, and I thought about how it feels good to be living in in this neighborhood – knowing where it came from and now where it is. St. Ambrose has made it possible for families like me to be here,” said Ms. M.
Things have not always been this peaceful. Many years ago, Ms. M had to quickly leave her home with her three children to escape violence. When she was living in a shelter, she met one of St. Ambrose staff doing outreach. She took the opportunity to rent a home from St. Ambrose and has continued renting from us ever since.
“St. Ambrose offers opportunities. St. Ambrose has been there for me. They work with you. Even with the pandemic – they were working hard to support families such as myself. St. Ambrose helps; not just with housing, but with food, clothing, all kinds of stuff – I used St. Ambrose services to help with my resume when I was searching for work.”
Along with raising three children, Ms. M worked as a Headstart teacher and would also make time to support other domestic violence survivors. “I used to reserve a spot to talk to women in shelters. I would share my story and talk about how I was once where they are now. I always gave them a journal book with a pen, because that is what helped me. I tell them, ‘I want you to see yourself in the word success.’”
“I raised three kids, my daughter became a soldier, she is a veteran, she fought in Afghanistan. My son is a nurse, and my youngest daughter is in the hospital, so I am raising her daughter. I’m not trying to own a home right now,” Ms. M states, and she let us know that renting is the best option for her right now.
“I’m caring for my granddaughter. This is a full-time job – being a stay at home grandma.”
Ms. M says her St. Ambrose rental in the Winter’s Lane community is an ideal place to raise her granddaughter. She loves decorating her porch and gardening. And she enjoys seeing the community in action, whether it be seeing families come together at local sports fields or neighbors helping each other with yard work. “It really does take a village to raise a family,” she says.
We are inspired by everything Ms. M does for her family and community. And we are so grateful for the time she took to share her story with us. Thank you Ms. M!