HER ‘GIFT OF GOD’ - RENIECCEA’S STORY
ReNieccea Fernandez is now 27 and finally surrounded by the love through her newborn, Mikayah, and her two puppies. As one of five kids, she didn't have a conventional childhood and grew up in Child Protective Services (CPS). After leaving the system, ReNieccea soon found herself homeless and exposed to unsafe situations. In 2016, she began living a dangerous lifestyle, found herself in-and-out of jail, lost her belongings, was in an abusive relationship, and lost all that she had known.
Then in 2019, she got the news that completely changed her life; she was pregnant. Her unborn child became her motivator and vehicle to turn her life around and build a solid foundation for her future. Especially during the pandemic, she was concerned about where she would go to keep herself safe and healthy while pregnant. After countless calls to shelters, she was able to connect with The Salvation Army. Through an initial intake with one of our Housing Navigators, we found that she qualified for our Hope First Program or Bridge to Permanent Supportive Housing, which provides permanent housing case management for chronically homeless individuals or families in the Greater Houston area. The program was developed via the Community COVID-19 Housing Program, a partnership with the Way Home, the City of Houston, and various nonprofits like The Salvation Army, providing hope to vulnerable populations.
After processing her paperwork, ReNieccea was quickly processed due to her delicate state and housed within one day of her application; a true blessing because Mikayah was born the next day!
Throughout the pregnancy, ReNieccea faced many challenges. She was unfortunately in an accident with a car driver and had complicated labor. Her daughter had her cord tied around her neck, and doctors had to intervene. But once she was born, ReNieccea was in love with her newborn and knew at that moment, when Mikayah was in her arms, that she would never change any of her experiences if it meant coming back to her.
Now in her new home, ReNieccea is looking forward to a future filled with baby pictures on her walls. "You can't do this in a broken-down vehicle, in a hotel room, or someone else's house. In your place, you can," she says.
She looks forward to potentially opening her own small hair business to provide a promising future for her daughter and is also focused on making sure her child receives an education. She is deeply appreciative of the organizations and people who provided opportunities for people like her to pave a new path for their lives and regain self-sustainability.
When Asked What Advice She Has For Others, She Said, "Keep Your Head And Prayers Up. You Never Know When You Are Going To Be Blessed With An Angel That Walks Into Your Life And Says, 'Hey, You're Going To Be Moving Into Your Apartment Today.' And Honestly, That's What I Feel Like Miss Becca [Her Navigator] Was, A Guardian Angel."
If you would like to help others like ReNieccea with Life Navigation services, please donate below or if you would like more information about getting assistance please click here.