I am a 38yr old single mom of 3 boys, aged 19, 18, and 15. I will try to make this brief as possible. First of all, I always have struggled with rent and food for us; I always have kept a job or two. I never can afford the rent, which has always landed me and my boys in poor violent areas in Milwaukee, 53206. I keep my boys mostly in after school programs like the YMCA or Boys & Girls Club, but I always had to get into relationships with men to help keep the bills paid to stay stable. 

Finally when I became tired of going through violent abusive relationships, when I got a house alone, my kids and I worked day and night working for a non-profit organization. It helped pregnant women and mentored young girls. I was the administrator’s assistant. Did that through the day and then worked another job at night; some nights turned into mornings.

I was server at a hall helping with guests and serving food, trying to keep the bills paid. If it was not the electric/gas/water bill due, it was the rent, which I used to pay half of at the beginning of the month, the rest at the end. Always lock in half so you can make a payment plan. It’s like payment plan after payment plan until one day the nonprofit can’t pay me any more. I tried working more hours on night job, but now bills are steady slipping, lights off, 12 days rent behind, water behind, now I’m evicted, going to shelters that either will not accept me because my boys are too old — gotta split us up, which I never did — or the shelter will not accept me working past 2 am.

Now we’re homeless, and have been for almost a year. The boys split up; I have the youngest. We moved out of state. Hopefully section 8 will come through. Staying with relatives, working, trying to save money, so yeah — now eviction’s on my name, my credit score is shot to pieces, and my boys are without a mom. So yes, an eviction separated me from being a mom to my boys.

I tried to work hard, but I guess not hard enough …