Tikiya graduated in December of 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Upon graduation she moved to a new city with her 3 children, lured by the promise of housing and employment opportunities. Not long after relocating she was hired, however her living situation became unmanagable. Although she had stable employment, she did not have enough money to afford day care and a down payment for an apartment. She began living out of her car.
She lived with her children in the car from March to May, through a very cold, Ohio Spring. She stayed awake for most of the night, intent on staying alert in order to protect her kids. She took showers at the local YWCA. Then one of her coworkers told her about ACCESS. She felt an intense sense of relief upon entering the shelter.
She took advantage of the programming, seeing every class and meeting as an opportunity to grow. She used the computers to search for housing. The Child Advocate helped her move her child care from Stark County to Summit. Her Case Manager helped her find housing. Tikiya remembers waking up in the morning to announcements from ACCESS staff. “Attention clients…good morning. It’s time to wake up and start the day!” She remembers the attitude of the shelter, the positivity, the hopefulness. The routine and attitude has carried over into her life outside of the shelter. She still has her job, stable housing, and her 3 boys are doing well in school.
Big or small, every donation to ACCESS and the homeless women and children it serves will be greatly appreciated.