Newly-single mom Aubrey had a good job, a savings account and paid her rent on time. But when her job was outsourced, life for her and her 1-year-old son, Sebastian, spiraled downward.
“When my son and I became homeless, I felt completely empty inside,” Aubrey said. Aubrey had always taken responsibility for herself. That’s how her parents raised her and that’s how she lived her life. This was before Aubrey’s world was turned upside down by a relationship gone bad and a job loss. “I’ve always been able to overcome every obstacle,” she added. She had never even considered asking anyone for assistance. “But, I got to a point where I didn’t have any more answers. I had to swallow my pride and finally ask for help.” That’s how Aubrey and Sebastian ended up hungry and homeless at the Siena/Francis House.
As background, Aubrey had obtained a degree in computer design and worked for an industrial supply firm. She was good at her design specialist position, worked hard and saved money. And, even though Aubrey became unexpectedly pregnant, she faced this life event head on, and was looking forward to getting married and becoming a mom. Aubrey’s fiancé, however, let her know in no uncertain terms that he was not interested in becoming a dad. After a heated discussion, he let Aubrey know what he’d been thinking all along, “You have to end this pregnancy!” he ordered. Aubrey had absolutely no intention of ever doing what he had commanded, and she let him know it. After he repeated that order, Aubrey knew that she could not…and would not have a life with this man.
Aubrey had her baby, Sebastian, in October 2016, and took a month off from work to be with her beautiful boy. Aubrey loved her newborn son and also loved her job. By late March of this year, she’d saved up $10,000 for a down payment to buy a house. She had also been approved for a mortgage. Life was good.
On a day in late March, though, Aubrey came to work, only to learn that her position had been outsourced to a company from California. She was crushed, but kept her head up and looked for work. As jobs in her field are scarce, Aubrey was unable to find employment right away. To pay her bills, Aubrey used the money she had set aside to purchase a home.
April, May and June came and went, and Aubrey still couldn’t find a position. She sold her blood plasma as often as she could, in order to make ends meet. In July, with her savings totally spent, Aubrey informed her landlord that she wouldn’t be able to pay her rent that month. Trying to be understanding, he let Aubrey and Sebastian stay until the end of the month.
“I had absolutely no idea what to do,” Aubrey said. “I had no relatives in town, and I knew practically no one. So, I asked my landlord where I could go, and he suggested I call the Siena/Francis House.” Aubrey and Sebastian arrived at our shelter with “a dark cloud hanging over me. That’s what I felt,” Aubrey said.
The Siena/Francis House’s ultimate goal is to help Aubrey find affordable and appropriate housing outside the shelter. Our staff has been working with Aubrey on achieving this, connecting her with a local agency that specializes in housing. We also got her in touch with a State program that helps defray the cost of daycare for Sebastian, while Aubrey looks for a new job. Until these goals are realized, the Siena/Francis House will continue to make sure that this young mom and her 1-year-old have enough to eat, clothes to wear and a safe place to temporarily call home.
At this time of Thanksgiving, Aubrey is very grateful for everything the Siena/Francis House has done for Sebastian and her. “This experience has humbled me,” she said. “But being homeless at the Siena/Francis House has been a blessing in disguise. Being here has taught me that I don’t have to do everything by myself…that there are good people out there who really do care.”
Will you please consider making a generous Thanksgiving gift to the Siena/Francis House Homeless Shelter? You can’t help but feel good knowing that your gift will almost immediately turn into food and blankets, heat and light, and a warm helping smile for the homeless and broken people who turn to us for care. You can make your online gift through our secure website, found here HERE.
Your Thanksgiving gift will be used to help Aubrey and Sebastian, and others like them. This family didn’t have anywhere else to go, and the Siena/Francis House tries never to turn anyone away. We are dedicated to providing food and shelter to the nearly 500 hungry and homeless people who come to us in need, each and every day. Besides filling their plates this Thanksgiving, your gift will help provide hope for a better future for this family, hope that they could really use right now.
Please make your donation today! As the weather is turning colder, we truly need your support right now. You can donate securely online HERE. Our shelter and the services we provide are only made possible because of generous financial support from caring members of our community, like you. Please know that your Thanksgiving gift will make a real and meaningful difference in the lives of those most in need in our community.
On behalf of Aubrey and Sebastian, thank you and God bless you. I wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.
Robert Wellendorf II
P.S. Please send your gift soon and please be as generous as you’re able – a lot of people are really counting on it. And, in our prayers, there is always gratitude for people like you, who are so wonderful to give to others.
Gifts to Siena/Francis House are used to provide food, shelter, clothing, and care of the people who turn to us during their hour of need, and are greatly appreciated. All of our services are provided at no cost to our guests. All gifts to Siena/Francis House are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. Our audited financial statements are freely available by writing to Siena/ Francis House, P.O. Box 217 DTS – Omaha, Nebraska – 68101. Our donor information is kept in strict confidence; our donor lists are never rented, shared, or exchanged with other organizations. The stories in our letters are real. Identifying details have been changed and file photos may be used to protect the privacy and therapeutic interest of our guests. For more information about Siena/Francis House or to include us in your estate planning, please contact Siena/Francis House Development Director, Tim Sully, at (402) 341-1821.