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Hope Is My Middle Name

Without hope, how would we be able to see the good in this world? Hope is the puzzle in the broken, missing puzzle pieces in this world. Without it, one would be incomplete. It’s the idea that even in the broken times, there’s always that one chance of greatness if we choose to believe in such things. 

I never understood the importance of the word hope until having it was the only thing I had left to bring myself out of the emptiness I felt inside. I never understood the importance of the word hope until having it was the only thing I had left to bring myself out of the emptiness I felt inside. 

As far back as I can remember, my family always called me “Hope.” I thought it was my first name until I went to elementary school when my father mentioned that it was, in fact, my middle name. In my adolescent years, I believed every good thing in my life would only last for a few moments, and then something terrible would approach defeating the whole good thing. I was lost in a big world, believing I was nothing. 

A major bright spot in my life was my second oldest brother. I’ve looked up to him since forever. When he told me his goals in life, I learned to see mine more clearly. He had a goal to get a job, a car, and an apartment. When he reached his goals, I saw myself doing the same. He seemed content with where he was headed in life. Before my eyes, he was becoming something bigger and better, and for that, I was both happy and jealous. 

On August 4th, 2019, at 4:20 A.M., my brother took his own life. A void was left within the people who knew and loved him. The one person I looked up to help reach my goals is gone. A few weeks before his death, he got a tattoo on his arm. It was a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” 

So, I took those words, and I decided I wanted more for myself and my son. A few months later, I was introduced to HEARTH. They provided us with housing. The moment I opened up the door to my apartment, I cried. I also never have to worry about clothes, food, or other everyday essentials because they’re easily accessible at HEARTH. 

They provided us with safety. I never have to worry about where my child will go as I work because my son’s childcare is just right down the hall from where we reside. 

They provided us with a support system. Before I moved in, my goals seemed so unreachable. Now, I meet with the program director each week to set three goals to achieve by Friday. I also meet with a life coach, who guides me through struggles and helps me accomplish my long-term goals. 

They provided us with community. While living here, I was introduced to amazing people that I will cherish for the rest of my life, including women living there with different stories than mine, but all with the same goal; to find a permanent home for ourselves and our kids. 

They provide us with hope. When my time ends at HEARTH, I see myself finally getting a permanent place for my son and me, and I can see myself furthering my education and making a name for myself. I intend on getting my license and looking for better job opportunities to help me reach my financial goals. 

I finally see a future I’ve never thought possible. I went from wanting to end my life to wanting to live forever. From having barely anything to believing I had everything from just meeting people who made me realize that life is worth living.

Community Garden

HEARTH’s community garden has never looked better thanks to volunteers from BOMA who helped us kickstart the project for this year. This garden provides a

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