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Niakea’s Grit

Niakea Thomas is the proud and loving mother of Anoni (PJ), her 2 year old daughter. Niakea came to New Moms as a chronically homeless youth, with a history of living in several shelters and even some time living on the street. Her apartment at New Moms was her very first. During her time at New Moms, her determination was evident. She came into New Moms knowing she did not want to be homeless and taking steps to make a way for her young family. For a time she managed two part time jobs and was attending school part time, a great responsibility to carry while parenting a young child. She is now gainfully employed with the City of Chicago as a Traffic Controller.

Niakea’s parenting is beautiful to behold. Her walls are filled with her daughter’s art work, and her deep love of reading and poetry are evident all around her space. You will often see her walking around with a book in hand. She reads to her daughter daily and takes her responsibility as a primary influence on her life seriously. Always seeking to live a genuine life of faith, Niakea says “I love Pizza and God,” which is a time to enjoy pizza and talk about faith and questions of  life. She has been a thoughtful contributor and peer to other young moms. In all areas of parenting – health, education, play, creativity, and more – Niakea has displayed grace and a willingness to learn and grow.

Niakea will be completing New Moms’ housing program in October and will be moving to stable housing on her own. To a life and journey that truly embodies transformation, it was our privilege to honor Niakea with New Moms’ Transformation Award at the New Moms “Heart of a Child” Gala.