Saturday, May 18, 2013
Homeless Single Mother's Second Chance for Success
Latasha Seawood, 23, unexpectedly lost her job last year while pregnant. After almost two years of being homeless, she turned to a women’s shelter as a last resort.
On any given day thousands of homeless people are living on Anchorage streets, half of which are families. That includes single mothers like 23-year-old Latasha Seawood who became homeless while she was pregnant and unexpectedly lost her job.
Seawood and her son Latrey have been living in emergency shelters for almost six months; it’s a lifestyle shift she never expected.
“I spent time sleeping in the back of my car,” she said.
When she was laid off, she had no money saved up, nowhere to go and wasn’t able to rely on her son’s father for emotional or financial support.
“I need to provide a home for him and it’s really hard,” she said. “I feel for every mother who's not able to do that.”
After almost two years of not having a permanent home, she finally realized she needed help and turned to Clare House, an emergency women’s homeless shelter run by Catholic Social Services, as a last resort.
It’s a situation that CSS sees often—every year, hundreds of women stay at Clare House, which has a capacity of 45—it’s full almost every night.
“They’re often one paycheck away from homelessness, especially if it's a female head of household,” said Susan Bomalaski, executive director for CSS. She said that households relying on a single income can fall into homelessness very easily.
Seawood has since landed a full-time job and recently received notice from the Cook Inlet Housing Authority that she now has a place to live.