Kaylie Jennifer Miller 30, born and raised with one sister by both parents until she was six when her parents divorced. She dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and has been taking G.E.D. classes on and off. “I babysat other people’s children and tried to get a profitable job,” she says. She had her first child, Trinity (now 10) when she was 20, but lost custody of her.
“I worked in fast food and was a sales associate at Rose’s. My last job was at Waffle House in 2015.” She lived with her mother until she moved in with her boyfriend. “He got involved to help me out with the parenting discipline with Trinity and it went too far because he spanked her with a belt. It left a mark and he got sent to jail.
Kaylie went back to live with her mom and the rest of her family. “Then our whole family, all nine of us; my mother, my family friend that’s like a dad to me, my sister, her husband, and her four kids, all became homeless at the same time, because they wouldn’t renew the lease. My sister and brother-in-law and their kids got a place in Newport News. My mom and I and my family friend, that’s like a dad to me we’re all going to move to a duplex with four bedrooms. Right now, my mom and my family friend are staying in a mechanic’s shop office.”
“When I came here on January 14th? I was pregnant with Myra (now 3 months). She was born Jan 24th.” How did you feel about being homeless? “Sometimes you just have to deal with what God gives you to handle, and I’ve been previously homeless with my mom when my sister and I were teenagers. I was 16 going on 17 at the time and my sister was 6 years younger. We were homeless for a couple of months and lived in hotels and at Our House Family Shelter before it closed down.”
Kaylie said, “The Mission provided clothes for the baby, a crib for her to sleep in, food for myself to eat, basically everything we have, all the basically essential needs. Now I’m looking into taking parenting classes. I took a few here and a budgeting class and saved some money.” When asked if she has income, “I have TANIF and am working on my SSI because I have depression and it’s hard to keep a job.” She doesn’t take medication for it but, “I’m trying to deal with it the best that I can.” Her mom and family friend are waiting for the inspection to be done on the duplex and she is hoping they will be able to move into soon.
Kaylie says, “If it wasn’t for the Mission, I’d probably be in another shelter who doesn’t care like they do here or out on the streets or in the mechanic shop office which isn’t good for my baby. I would have done what I would have had to do. There are more people worse off than I am. After I’m done getting help with you guys I’m going to come back and give my blessing back. I’m going to go back to school, find a part-time job. As long as I’m alive and happy and I want to get back custody of my daughter. I love being here. The staff is really nice and really helpful and that’s really wonderful.”
“If not for The Union Mission I’d be on the street. I was destitute, not knowing where to turn and heavily doubting God every day. I’m extremely grateful to be here.” Martin was born in the Philippines. His family moved to Saipan and then to Guam where they obtained U.S. citizenship. He attended college, moved …
Sarah’s mother died when she was 6 and her father raised her and her siblings. She dropped out of school, but later got a G.E.D. She got certified as a CNA and spent many years as a caregiver. “When my health started failing and arthritis spread all through my body, I couldn’t stand for long …
Regina was raised in North Carolina with eight siblings. After high school she got a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Social Work from Elizabeth City State University, then moved to Virginia, got married and had a son, now 27. She got a job at Walmart, but separated from her husband in 2007 and moved back …