Lateasha struggled to make ends meet as a single-parent without community to lean on, and juggled multiple jobs to afford housing and childcare. Even at her lowest points, Lateasha never lost hope that things would get better for her and her son. She was referred to YWCA St. Paul’s Employment and Economic Development programming and received housing and financial support while she worked to find a stable job paying a livable wage. With YW, Lateasha also found the local community support she needed.
Lateasha: I moved to Minnesota three years ago and when I first came here I didn’t know I was pregnant. So, when I found out I was just overjoyed—like oh my gosh—because I had him at 39. It was like a shock, a complete shock. What do I do? You know, I’m a single parent, what do I do? Struggling very much so, working two to three jobs. I couldn’t find affordable child care for my son. Working two or three jobs is just not it, you know, with the kid it’s just not it. Especially when you know no one here. I wasn’t able to work because I couldn’t afford affordable daycare. I had an apartment and wasn’t able to keep the apartment anymore because I wasn’t able to work. And at that point I’m just homeless. I was like this is very hard; do I just give up? But a lot of crying and I’m like it’ll get better, it will get better.
Ramsey county introduced me to the YWCA. The YWCA staff means everything to me. They were already helping me but then they took it a whole other level like: we’ll just help you pay off debt, we’ll find you housing, we’ll help you when you get into the housing until you get a stable job—which I am just ever so grateful for. And I like them because not only because the financial help but just like just the moral support. Like I said I came here not knowing anyone, so I can call them for anything, any questions, anything. All of the Y stepped up to help me. And I was like yeah I can do it! I was like I just needed that push to get me through and this is where we are.
My ultimate goal is as long as he’s secure and stable, I can work. I can do what I need to do for him, just have everything that he wants and needs in life, just to have a great life. And that’s what I’m going to be working and continue to keep working hard for so that he can have a good foundation.
Video and lead photograph by Slade Klemmet Media