Jennifer, 56, describes herself as “a good person with a good heart.” She is also deeply spiritual and carries a positive outlook with her.
“God always says, 'This, too, shall pass,'” she said, recalling her years of homelessness that began in 2012. As she moved through the network of Hudson County homeless shelters (PERC in Union City, the Hoboken Shelter and St. Lucy's in Jersey City) she kept telling herself that she would be moving on as soon as she landed a job.
“I didn't realize how difficult that might be,” she said, “but I got it in my head that I would make it. It is possible to use every opportunity for personal growth.”
Like many who find themselves homeless, Jennifer doesn't fit the stereotype. “I've worked all my life,” she said. “I never smoked, drank or did drugs. This can happen to anyone.”
Through the United Way of Hudson County's Collaborative Solutions Program for the chronically homeless, Jennifer was placed in an apartment in November 2014.
“I honestly can say I don't know where I'd be without United Way,” said Jennifer. She added special praise for Elizabeth Nunez, her case manager. “Not everyone I dealt with during that time was kind to me, but she was and she continues to help me in so many ways.”
Having a place of her own has given Jennifer the time and space to enjoy two of her favorite hobbies, music and reading. “I'm just so thankful to everyone who made this possible,” she said. “It was rough, but God saw me through.”