“I have two blessings in this world: my boy and Sarah’s House” says Sherman, a Sarah’s House Resident currently residing in a transitional housing unit. “Without Sarah’s House I don’t know where we would have gone, this is all the family I have” he adds as he puts his arm around his son.
Sherman and his 8 year-old son, Quinton, have been living at Sarah’s House for a little under a year now and the two have been through quite a lot in these last few months. Sherman is a single father raising Quinton all on his own. Up until her untimely passing last year, Sherman’s mother had played a significant role in both their lives. Sherman says that she was like a mother to Quinton and that she was his best friend. So when she passed away, the pair was devastated.
“Quinton cried for days” say Sherman, “he did not believe she was gone.” After his mother’s passing, Sherman was faced with the significant expense of a proper funeral and burial arrangements for her. Soon after, Sherman was laid off his job and with their expenses quickly building, they quickly ran through all their savings.
Not long after that, the two were evicted from their home. “I came back to find all of our possessions on the street” says Sherman. “That is how I lost all his paper work” he adds looking at Quinton. Sherman says he didn’t know where else to turn and that he was initially reluctant to ask for help. “I had to swallow my pride, which isn’t easy for a man” he says. “If it weren’t for this boy, I don’t know what would have become of me.”
When asked what Sarah’s House means to him, Sherman paused for a moment to reflect and with one word he summed it all up, hope. “Hope is something we had run out of and at Sarah’s House, I realized there were some good people in this world” says Sherman. He adds that Sarah’s House is like his family now and that it is just what they needed in their life at that time.
At Sarah’s House Sherman and Quinton were initially placed in emergency housing and after passing a intensive application process, the two were able to move to the transitional housing unit where they have been living for the last several months. While at Sarah’s House they both have taken advantage of many of the services offered. This includes FLASH, the after school program Quinton attends until his father returns home from work and SHINE, an 8-week self awareness program which Sherman enrolled in not long after the two arrived.
“Before SHINE, I used to let people get to me” says Sherman, “but Scott [the volunteer who leads the 8 week program] taught me that no one can make me angry, I let them make me angry…I had never realized that before” he says.
This summer, Quinton will be attending the Sarah’s House summer camp, and next weekend, he will be joining 10 other children from Sarah’s House for Camp Letz, a week long sleep-over camp. “It will be the first time in 8 years that he will be away from me for more than a few hours” says Sherman speaking of his son’s upcoming trip.
With his caseworker, Betty, Sherman has been able to recover all the paper work they lost in the eviction, including their social security documents and Quinton’s birth certificate. Sherman has been rehired at the job that had laid him off and he has slowly been rebuilding their life. He recently got a car and has been saving up for their future. In a few months, the pair will be ready to move on and Sherman says he knows they will be ok.
Sherman says that in the future he plans on volunteering at Sarah’s House, to give back for all that he has received. “I am so grateful to everyone here” he says, “there should be more places like Sarah’s House”. Even when Sherman and Quinton move out on their own, they will not lose the support of Sarah’s House, as with every former resident, an outreach councilor will follow their progress and provide support as they continue on their journey together.