Everyone Here Believes In Me.
After years of subsisting day to day, Mary and her children have found stability at Drueding Center.
Uncertainty had defined Mary’s life for as long as she could remember. Before going to prison, Mary’s mother had kept her children out of school. Sent to live with their elderly, infirm father, the children were practically on their own. Mary dropped out of fourth grade to assume the role of mother to her younger brother and sister.
Eventually, Mary’s circumstances deteriorated into homelessness. She lived with friends when she could, returned to school, got her diploma, and worked at McDonald’s ― all as a homeless teen. She eventually got her first apartment, but when she became pregnant, she moved in with her mother, now out of prison, to save money. When the arrangement was no longer workable , Mary, pregnant again, moved out.
Then her son was diagnosed with autism. Pulled too many ways, Mary lost her job. She turned to a shelter, and spent two years sharing living quarters with strangers while trying to work with her son, who struggled in an environment without consistency.
Referred to Drueding Center, Mary was at first reluctant, fearing her family would be shuffled around again. Nothing was farther from the truth.
“When I arrived, I was given my own key,” says Mary. “The staff became my family. I’m now in my first year of college, my daughter gets straight As at a great Catholic school, and my son knows everybody’s name. We feel safe. Everyone here believes in me. I know we’ll have a bright future.”
More About Mary
Daughter Morgan and son Jadden
Graduate from college and put her children on the path to education as well.
Mary's Family Advocate says...
"I push Mary to do many things, and when she asks why I push so hard, I tell her, 'It's because I know you can do it!'"