By the end of their stay at Homeless Services Center’s Rebele Family Shelter, the Martinez family — Manny, Laura, and their 16-year-old daughter Ana — had rented a house in Watsonville. If you saw the family prior to this, however, you would witness the family camping on a dry river bed, following their eviction from their residence.

When Manny and Laura lost their Section 8 voucher and began experiencing homelessness, Ana was not getting to school. Manny and Laura were both dealing with depression and anxiety, and Ana was also struggling with sleep apnea. At the time, a caseworker from Dominican Hospital brought them to the Rebele Family Shelter for a waitlist intake, giving them a chance at a safe place to stay.

A few months after their initial intake, a room at Homeless Services Center’s Rebele Family Shelter (RFS) opened and, seizing the opportunity to reverse their situation, Manny and Laura jumped at the offer to enter the program. With the help of many case workers and the right community resources, the Martinez family was not only able to get their Section 8 voucher back and find housing, they were connected with resources to help them recover from their various health issues and traumas. Ana began regularly attending school, completed a sleep study, and has since received a special machine so she can sleep soundly at night.