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Jessica’s Story

Jessica and her kids were one of the first families to move into Clare Place, New Moms’ permanent supportive housing in Oak Park. Before New Moms, Jessica had been bouncing around from place to place with her children after being kicked out of her mother-in-law’s house.

“Right before Clare Place, I was living in a one-bedroom basement,” said Jessica, who is 25 years old. “There was no windows. I didn’t have my own kitchen or bathroom, so it was really hard. Definitively really hard.”

The best part about Clare Place, Jessica said, is that her kids – Alexander and Madelyn – get to have their own room.

“Having a place for my children and myself to be able to come home to and call somewhere home is more than I could have asked for,” Jessica said. “For them to have their own room, to have their own space, I’m so grateful to be able to give that to them.”

As part of living at Clare Place, Jessica’s family partners with a New Moms’ coach who is there to help them set and pursue their goals for the future. Jessica said her coach, Paula, is “amazing” and is a good listener.

“New Moms has helped me in a lot of different ways—especially Paula,” Jessica said. “She’s been such a good help. She has helped me a lot with my mental health challenges and all of the things I’ve dealt with to get to where I am now.”

Recently, Jessica and her son helped Paula create an inspirational flyer to hang up in Clare Place. Paula makes monthly flyers celebrating an inspirational person of color, and Jessica and Alexander helped Paula create one honoring Frida Kahlo. Jessica said this was a great way for her to teach her son about his Mexican heritage.

“I want to make sure my son is proud of who he is and where he comes from and that’s how we talked about the flyer,” Jessica said. “Paula asked if I knew anyone that was Hispanic who inspired me. I told her about Frida Kahlo and why myself and Alexander thought she would be a perfect person to put on the flyer.”

Jessica’s plans for the future include finding another job in health care. She was laid off because of the pandemic but wants to get back into the field. She said she’s been talking with Paula about pursuing her Registered Nurse (RN) degree and becoming a pediatric nurse.

“Paula encourages me, even with all the other stuff going on like my son having to do eLearning, she keeps inspiring me and keeps me going making sure that I follow my dreams no matter how old I get or how many months pass,” Jessica said.

To other young moms, Jessica says it’s worth it to work with New Moms.

“I would tell them take the opportunity that is given to them,” Jessica said. “It’s definitely worth a try and it can help them so much in ways they might not see right away but do matter. You guys have helped a lot!”