STORIES OF CHANGE

Shamaine

Shamaine

Photograph and Article by Maggie Lynn

For many, family is an incredible blessing in times of struggle. When the family itself is in crisis, the comfort of home can quickly transform into a battlefield. For Shamaine, fighting that battle threatened  not just her stability, but also that of her four year old son.

The grandfather who raised her passed away and her grandmother was diagnosed with dementia soon after. Shamaine quit her job to help provide family care, and though she was surrounded by family, she found herself all alone. The burden of caregiving, combined with the damaging habits of those in her family, took a heavy toll on Shamaine and her son.

The final straw came when family members refused to care for her grandmother for a few hours so she could sign her son  up for pre-kindergarten.

“He’s been picked on the lottery,” she told them. “If I don’t go sign him up, they will give his seat away.”

No one showed up and her son lost his space in the Pre-K class.

“I couldn’t keep doing it,” she said. “I had to get my life in order for the sake of my child.”

With her family spiraling out of control, she moved out of her grandmother’s house and moved in with her brother. But her brother’s house was no place for a young child and Shamaine then reached out to a friend she describes as like a sister to her. She was living with her friend when she learned about Union Mission.

 

Shamaine At Work

When Shamaine called to learn more about Magdalene House, she learned  about  the Culinary Arts Program . She applied and was accepted into the eight-week program, which put her on track to obtaining real-world kitchen skills and  a Serv-Safe  certification. It also put  her  one step closer to her  dream of someday opening  her  own  restaurant.

“Union Mission gives individuals a chance to relive a dream again,” she said. “It’s given me the strength to know that everybody will overcome obstacles but it’s up to you – you have to push and take the initiative.”

Shamaine’s next goal is to find a job, after which she hopes to go back to school, get her GED, and study business management. At Union Mission, she learned the skills to take on the challenges she’s facing – skills that will help her win her fight against homelessness.

“I’m going to fight in a different way. I’m going to fight with success,” Shamaine said.

Shamaine’s next goal is to find a job, after which she hopes to go back to school, get her GED, and study business management. At Union Mission, she learned the skills to take on the challenges she’s facing – skills that will help her win her fight against homelessness.

“I’m going to fight in a different way. I’m going to fight with success,” Shamaine said.

STORIES OF CHANGE

STORIES OF CHANGE