A Life Transformed: When Strangers Become Family

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Jasmine Martines felt alone and completely lost. The Hope through Housing Foundation gave her the strength and support she needed to start rebuilding her life.

“What I learned this past year is that strangers can actually become family,” says Jasmine, a single mom with shared custody of her 2-year-old son.

Her journey began when she reached out to Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services, eventually leading to an internship through Hope through Housing. Her job, and the support of the teams from Hathaway-Sycamores and Hope through Housing, helped her through a difficult custody situation, provided her with stable housing and gave her the tools to deal with anger and frustration of having grown up in an environment of guns, drugs and abuse.

It also provided her with invaluable work experience, helping seniors and young people through the services Hope through Housing provides to residents of affordable housing communities.

“Jasmine’s energy is contagious,” says Stephanie De La Torre, services coordinator for Hope through Housing. “She inspires me every day and it has been an honor to watch her transformation over the past year.” Today, Jasmine is studying to get her high school diploma and hopes to return to Hope through Housing as a full-time employee in the future.

“Before I started my internship, I was in a very bad situation,” Jasmine says. “I’ve had a really hard life. All I ever wanted was for someone to believe in me and let me know that they supported me all the way through.”

Hope through Housing provides that support – not just to the residents it serves, but as Jasmine’s story attests, to our employees, staff and interns.

“I love what Jasmine says about strangers becoming family. That truly encapsulates what Hope through Housing is all about,” said Ciriaco “Cid” Pinedo, President of the Hope through Housing Foundation. “For her to want to give back, after needing so much herself over the years, is a remarkable statement about who she is and what we are as an organization.”

Jasmine says the credit goes to Hope through Housing.

“My Hope through Housing team gave me the support and strength I needed to pull myself up and become who I am today,” she says. “My biggest accomplishment, I would have to say, is that I completely did a 180 since I started the program. I am not the same quiet shy girl that I was a year ago. I am more responsible, I’m more outspoken and I don’t get mad as easily anymore. When someone you know loves and cares for you, it is just an incredible feeling.”

About the Hope through Housing Foundation and National CORE

The Hope through Housing Foundation, based in Rancho Cucamonga, has provided more than 2 million hours in supportive services to enhance quality of life over the past two decades, including preschool, afterschool, senior wellness and upward mobility programs. National Community Renaissance is one of the nation’s largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing. National CORE manages nearly 9,000 affordable, senior and market-rate units in California, Arkansas, Texas and Florida. For more information on both organizations, please visit www.nationalcore.org.

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