Hardworking and struggling to find stable employment, she found herself temporarily homeless. While homelessness is broadly discussed and known, it is frequently misunderstood. Stigmas perpetuated through conversation and stereotypical portrayals in the media add to the misunderstanding. During discussions about homelessness, the image often brought to mind is a sad individual clothed in grungy attire and fingerless gloves, sitting panhandling for resources. While this may adequately describe a portion of the homeless population, it must be known that homelessness is not a monolith. Generalizing homelessness disregards the challenges, triumphs, and resilience of those like Chaninise.
Chaninise showed up to job interview after job interview, submitted application after application, and found herself experiencing closed door after closed door. The weight of joblessness was increased by the responsibility of motherhood, and her desire to provide her children with the stability they both needed and deserved. Wasting no time, she entered our STEP program. With the guidance of her case manager, our Solutions team, and other leaders within Talbot House, Chaninise has not only obtained multiple certifications, but she has also obtained her CNA license. She has also become an integral part of the Talbot House family as one of our incredible shift managers. After months, she has accrued enough income to live independently and moved into her own apartment. Despite countless challenges, Chaninise did not allow her circumstances to deter her from achieving the success
she knew she was capable of. She has worked tirelessly to become a woman she and her children are proud of.
Stories like Chaninise’s serve as a sobering reminder to be slow to judge and quick to show compassion. Talbot House is teeming with stories of men and women who are missed beneath the broad strokes of stereotypes. However, when we remove our preconceived notions, we are gifted with incredible stories of perseverance and resilience. We are reminded that our fortune is a gift. And we are given the opportunity to celebrate those who are often overlooked.
Thank you Chaninise for allowing your story to restore a semblance of dignity to those facing homelessness. Thank you for being a beacon of hope in the Talbot House community.