This is my emergency alert if the office is closed or some important event is coming up.

Clara’s Story

Clara's StoryMotivated, strong, and resilient: these are just a few words that describe Clara, who worked her first job at age 12 and left home at 13.  She learned at a very early age how to survive and take care of herself.

After ending an unhealthy relationship last year, she found herself the sole financial supporter of her family and struggled to afford housing and other expenses on her own.  After losing her housing and having nowhere else to go with her two children, she gratefully accepted shelter for her family at Haven House.

Because Clara’s son was 15, he was considered too old to be with his mom and sister at any other local shelter. Haven House is the only shelter in the Lansing area that could keep the family together so they were not forced to separate.  Clara remembers the time well: “It was hard being a single parent with no help but Haven House opened the doors for my family.”

While in shelter, Clara worked and saved money.  Clara was independent, using guidance from our staff to follow up on her goals to regain a permanent home. She got along well with other parents in shelter, setting a positive example with the results of her diligent budgeting and housing search: In less than five weeks, Clara moved her family out of shelter and back into a rental home of her own.

After getting settled into their new housing, Clara became an active participant in Haven House’s Partners in Progress program.  She used her tax refund to buy her own furniture, curtains and other items to make her house a home.  Her employment status has gone from temporary, part-time to permanent, full-time.  This comes with a well-earned pay raise for Clara.  She consistently pays her bills on time and follows her monthly budget to make sure she prioritizes housing and other necessary expenses. 

“I am so appreciative of the donors who helped my family by giving us a nice Christmas and helping with back-to-school clothes, a backpack and school supplies for my son.”  Clara is referring to our holiday Adopt-a-Family and back-to-school Adopt-a-Child programs.  With your help, Clara was able to focus on her rent and utilities while still enjoying these seasonal milestones with her kids. At a recent visit in her home, Clara reflected “Haven House donors are so generous!”

Clara plans to remain in her current housing for a couple more years and may down-size once her children are out of the home.  For now, she’s trying to work hard, stay healthy and enjoy her life—she is an inspiration for parents currently in our shelter.

Need Help?

Get Involved

Family Stories

Shelly’s Story

In the winter of 2015, Shelly moved her family into a home after saving for over a year to have the rent, security deposit and other move in costs covered. After just four months living there, Shelly found out her landlord had been renting her home illegally, with numerous health and safety violations. Due to unsafe conditions, Shelly and her kids had to leave home immediately. She did not have enough savings to secure a new rental so quickly. Eventually sleeping on a relative’s floor in another county, Shelly was losing all hope for a normal life for her children. It was getting increasingly difficult to transport the children to

Read More »