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Poverty & Equity Thought Leadership

Giving Ms. Rose Her Fight Back

“Always believe in yourself and never give up.” – Ms. Rose, a Shelter-A-Family resident. 

Ms. Rose is discovering the importance of mental health to build resilience and successfully navigate life’s challenges. At the age of 31, Ms. Rose began her journey of homelessness. Facing the reality of living on the streets, she made the difficult decision to place her son in the care of a family member who later stopped contact. She then became pregnant with another child who did not survive. 

Ms. Rose became determined to reunite with her son and give him a place to call home. With the help of Families First, she began counseling with our Behavioral Health Department to process the loss of her baby and to address other mental health issues. In October 2020, she moved into stable housing with the Families First Shelter-A-Family program. 

Recently she was supported by the Shelter-A-Family team for a court date and was successfully reunited with her son. Ms. Rose shared, “The reward is great, but you are going to have to do your work, put in the time, and be dedicated. But they are there with you every step of the way.”

Today, Ms. Rose’s progress continues as she meets her goals for employment and mental health, through weekly meetings with her therapist. Ms. Rose has written a book, “Looking Through the Broken Mirror,” that she hopes to publish soon and share her journey with others.

“To my Families First family, I appreciate each of you from the very bottom of my heart. I was about to give up on fighting to get reunited with my son Donovan and then you become my second family! I love each and everyone that has joined me on this journey and the amazing Families First supporters who help make it possible,” shared Ms. Rose. “Thank You for not looking at me and turning me away, and thinking my situation was impossible, but looking at me, hearing my situation and believing that reunifying my son and me is possible! Giving me my fight back.”

Ms. Rose is an example of how Families First works with our clients to build resilience through our holistic, results-driven approach. Last year, we launched our Navigator Care Model as the foundation of our new mission to “Build resilient families so all children can thrive.” We also launched a resiliency screening tool to assess a person’s readiness to face life’s challenges and to get back out there. Our Families First team is the boots on the ground to help our families strengthen themselves. And our Navigators are there with them every step of the way. 

On Wednesday, June 9 at 9:00 am, Families First is bringing together leaders in business, government, nonprofit, education and advocacy for a celebration of the champions of resilience in the Atlanta community and sharing how impact can be expanded moving forward. Over the last 18 months, our communities have suffered. From the ravages of COVID-19 to widespread social injustices and inequalities across race, gender, and income. The world needs deep and systemic change and we all must continue to fight for it. 

This past year, we’ve also seen great acts of heroism and care from our front-line workers who continue to serve our communities bravely.  A common thread that’s emerged is the true power of resilience. Families First believes that resilience is the foundation of building strong families and strong communities. Register to join us on June 9 for this engaging and informative event:  Unity for a Difference – Families First

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