“Looking back, I wonder how we made it.”
Through three years of homelessness, Zockie fought to keep her family together. By the time she entered the Safe Parking Program, she had almost given up hope.
Zockie assumed guardianship of her nephew and niece when they were just two and eight years old. Unable to afford daycare for little Tahj, she cut back her hours as a preschool teacher to care for him full time. With her savings depleted, and nowhere to go, she packed their belongings and moved into her car.
At JFS, Zockie worked with a Housing Specialist who helped her access resources and look for affordable housing. And through it all, she was fighting a court case to win legal custody of Imani and Tahj. It was granted in early 2018.
Three years to the day after moving into her vehicle, Zockie got word that she had qualified for an apartment. When she opened the door and saw it for the first time, she was too overwhelmed to speak. Her Housing Specialist had applied for a grant to get it furnished.
Today, Zockie relishes the sights and sounds of her new home. Imani plugging away at her typewriter. Tahj jumping on the trampoline in the backyard.
“After so much uncertainty, this is where they come and feel safe. They can relax and spread out here. They walk in, and there’s a pantry full of food.”