It started with an observation. At some point in time, humanitarian organizations like ours had stopped thinking of refugees as their primary customer and instead become focused on large funders. We had deprioritized the people we are here to serve - and that wasn't good enough.
Housing & Shelter
Thousands of families have opened the doors of the Camp Lejeune Fisher House and walked into their "home away from home." Some have done so for a few nights, a few weeks and some for over a year as they cared for their loved one. Our families were able to be with their loved one for babies born a little too early, cancer diagnosis and treatment, motor vehicle/motorcycle accidents, orthopedic surgery, ongoing treatment of OIF/OEF injuries, Lou Gehrig's Disease, Mental Health illness and everything in between.
"This is the house that my father built; this is where I grew up and where I take care of my elderly mother."
Ismael still lives in the wooden house that his father built over 45 years ago. He and his sister look after his mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. This is the only place she knows and remembers. In 2017, Hurricane María clobbered their home and although it remained standing, the roof suffered damages that substantially deteriorated the house.
Born prematurely, Faith was given only a 5% chance of survival. Faith spent three months in the hospital and lived!
For much of her adult life, she worked as a nanny. Then her beloved mother died, followed by her father. Faith felt so alone but kept moving forward in faith. After that, Faith got so sick that she couldn’t walk. She was hospitalized for a month but, again, survived. She began rehabilitation that lasted six months. During this time, Faith was unable to work and pay her rent. So, she lost her apartment and was locked out of all her belongings.
I hope you never have to go through what U.S. Army veteran Dave has endured in his home.
The apartment is so tiny that he and his son, Aaron, 7, must share a single small bedroom.
Cockroaches infest the entire place. The space is deteriorating so badly that Aaron injured himself on an exposed floorboard screw. As a single father of a son with special needs, Dave simply wants what is best for his little boy ... but that often feels out of reach.
Jylisa was pregnant and experiencing homelessness when she was referred to New Moms. For the last 10 years, she said she’d basically been raising herself – her mother coming sporadically in and out of her life because of struggles with substance abuse. Jylisa was living in a shelter for pregnant and parenting mothers before moving into a New Moms apartment when she turned 18.
Jessica graduated college, gave birth to a beautiful daughter named Eden, and became a budget specialist at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. As Jessica says, she was a “boomerang child” – off to college and then back to her parents’ house as rent prices and down payments on houses soared out of reach. For years, she strove to save for a house of her own and researched first-time homebuyer programs across the state to no avail.
Derrick is a friendly man, whose good humor has carried him through a number of life happenings, in particular his recent move from a room in Pathlight HOME’s Safe Haven Program into his own Maxwell Garden efficiency apartment.
Derrick shares that he was born with Cerebral Palsy and has always been disabled. He hastens to add, however, that he worked at a major Orlando theme park for 15 years as a chef. He’s quite proud of his culinary talents and still loves to cook.