Within four walls of scrap metal and wood, Anita and her two children are huddled beneath a leaky patchwork roof made of tin. The floor is dirt — or sometimes mud — and mosquitos swarm relentlessly in the humid air. The house is just one small room, and they don’t own it. Help for homeless families in El Salvador isn’t easy to find.
“I worry every day someone will make us leave. We have nowhere else to go.”
Anita found herself here because she had no other options. She left her abusive husband to try to keep her children safe — a problem the Salvadorian government won’t help her solve. As a reward for her fierce bravery, her daughter was beaten and gang raped. Turns out, Anita’s husband was part of a gang who needed to “make an example” of her.
This is the life Anita once lived, but since then, her story has changed.
Flash forward six months, and things are different. Anita and her family live in a concrete home in a small community, away from the violence of local gangs. It’s a simple, 600 square foot space with a bright exterior, and enough bedrooms for her and her two children to live and work. She works at the city hall during the day while her children are in school — safe and learning. The most important thing about the home, though, is that it’s a world away from the life Anita used to live.
A home gave this family a reason to stay.
A home gave this family a fresh start.
And most notably, a home gave this family the opportunity to thrive.
And a family who felt they had no options is now led by a strong single mother. That’s the power of a home.
Today, help for hundreds of homeless families will try to come across our borders because they don’t have any compelling options to stay. The risk, journey, and chance is their last hope.
Some of them were driven out by gangs. Some simply have no where to go. Most are living day to day in survival mode.
These are the people we at New Story exist to serve. These are the stories we want to rewrite with a home intervention.
New Story exists to end survival mode living. We exist to give families around the globe the foundation to thrive where they are. Help for homeless families begins with a home. We’re passionate about giving families options and setting them up for success. We recognize dignity as a basic human right, and a home as the basis for establishing dignity. Because how can you grow up strong and resilient if your only option is to simply survive?
Now, more than ever, I’m reminded of the power of a home, and the help it brings for homeless families . I’m brought to tears thinking about the families we work with across 16 communities — families who otherwise today could be separated from their children and in detainment because the U.S. was their last hope.
I’m also humbled to think we’ve been able to change that outcome for even one family.
If you’re looking for an immediate way to help with heartbreaking issues at our borders, here are a few immediate actions you can take.
- Donate to this community bond fund which is volunteer led so 100% of your donation goes to paying bonds.
- Call your representatives with this super easy tool from ACLU.
- Join an event on June 30th in your local city.