Empowered By Orange County United Way

Expectant Mother Grateful For A Home She Can Finally Call Her Own

Diana was just 15 years old when she first entered the California foster care system. For the next three years, she moved amongst three different foster homes, longing for a place she could truly call her own.

Once she turned 18, she was officially on her own and left scrambling to find a safe place to live. She had no other choice but to stay with friends who could lend her their couch.

Eventually Diana found a job as a security guard, and earned a steady income, but not enough to build a savings to pay rent for an apartment of her own. For a short time, Diana was able to use her salary to rent a room at a hotel located within walking distance to her job. Eventually, she could no longer afford to stay at the hotel, and pay for necessary items like her cell phone bill or food, so she ended up staying with friends again.

Diana’s lack of housing stability and continuous risk of homelessness put a great deal of stress on her at a very young age. But, she continued to work hard, and was determined to find a place to call her own.

In early 2021, Diana received a Foster Youth to Independence voucher, and was connected with United to End Homelessness’ WelcomeHomeOC program.

WelcomeHomeOC quickly began working with her to find an apartment. In less than 60 days, the program completed her paperwork, found her an apartment, provided home furnishings, and equipped her with the necessary steps for a seamless move.

Diana has been settled into her new home for about two months now. She is expecting her first child in November and is enjoying the simple pleasure of having personal space where she can prepare for motherhood.

“I’m so grateful to have this home that I can watch my child grow up in. My new house is so close to friends, and I also have three great parks within walking distance; with everything else I could need right across the street from my apartment. It will make my life so much easier once the baby arrives,” said Diana excitedly.

“Thanks to Orange County United Way’s support, I feel like I’m able to move forward and build a life where I don’t need to worry about housing,” added Diana.