Children’s Council Provides Critical Stability for a Family in Crisis
Earlier this year, a story about a young San Francisco mom ran in a local blog. The headline read: “Rachel Church was homeless. A drug addict. An alcoholic. But she’s better now. She wants you to know this.”
Rachel does indeed want to share her life story, which is at once harrowing and inspiring.
But these days, she wants to focus less on her experiences living on the streets of the Mission, and more on the stable, joyful life she has made for herself and daughter Alessandra, with the support of Children’s Council.
After the birth of her child, Rachel and her now-deceased husband – a drug dealer on Mission Street – shared a 10’ x 12’ room in a hotel. “I was taking care of my infant and trying to work, but I just couldn’t get out of that situation. I was so distraught.”
She says, “Before I came to Children’s Council, I was having trouble finding a child care provider who was comfortable with my past and the anxiety I was having. They’d find out what I’d been through and they just couldn’t handle it.”
After her husband died of a drug overdose, Rachel began her journey to stability. She got clean and worked diligently to get into Section-8 housing.
At Children’s Council, we connected Rachel to a child care provider who understood her unique situation, and our staff provided her with the comforting, reliable guidance she so desperately needed.
“Every time I come to Children’s Council, everyone is amazing. They know how to communicate with someone like me, who’s been through the kind of trauma that I have. Even when I’ve had a bad day, my case workers are so nice and they’re super responsive.”
Now, Rachel and Alessandra have a stable Section-8 home in Laurel Heights. Rachel will graduate from SF City College in May and is in the second phase of interviews for an internship at ABC-7, while Alessandra is flourishing at a Family Child Care home in the Excelsior.
Rachel says, “Every day it’s a pleasure, picking her up and finding out everything she’s done and learned. She is Afro-Latina, so I’m excited that she’s learning Spanish and Portugese. I can focus on my classes and know she’s well taken care of.”
“Without reliable child care, I would probably be at risk for falling back into substance abuse. Children’s Council has been critical to getting stability in my life and my daughter’s life.”
Each year, Children’s Council touches the lives of over 20,000 families, including parents from traumatic situations like Rachel. But we need your support to help families build confidence and community.
During this season of giving, won’t you join the Children’s Council community and help families like Rachel and Alessandra grow and thrive?
To read more about Rachel and her journey, visit Mission Local blog.