When Nina first came to Homeless Services Center, she thought she had no hope at all. Nina and her 17-year-old daughter were in a difficult situation, living with a boyfriend of Nina who was abusive, to avoid sleeping in their car or on the street with no protection.

A single mother with no steady income to support her and her daughter, Nina turned to drugs to self-medicate and numb the pain of what she living through.

Nina was referred to HSC through CalWORKS Housing Assistance and Move-in Program (CHAMP). Nina was worried she would be denied services due to her income level, but her case manager at HSC was able to ease her mind and help her understand program eligibility. In addition to mental support during a tough time, HSC helped her and her daughter move into a beautiful studio apartment in Soquel.

Once Nina moved, she ended her toxic relationship. While balancing working part time and trying to find full-time employment, Nina found herself falling into depression. But with support and guidance from case managers through CHAMP, who encouraged Nina to find full-time employment so she could continue to live independently and stay in school part time, Nina began applying for jobs and was able to find full-time employment as a dental office assistant.

Nina completed CHAMP in 18 months and, 30 months later, she is sober, stably housed, and has been paying the rent in full on her own. She even adopted a dog from the local shelter for emotional support. Nina is extremely proud of herself for how far she has come.

“I am so grateful to HSC and CHAMP for helping me,” Nina said. “Otherwise, I would still be suffering the abusive way I was living.”