Finding Respite: A Young Mother at Mid-Maine
It’s late in the evening and she’s exhausted. She’s got three girls in diapers and sleeping through the night is a rarity these days. The gentle, but hard-working mother turns 25 at the end of the November. She’s staying in the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter with her daughters now.
Life has dealt her a tough hand, and although the Shelter offers her some respite, things are really hard right now. She and her children’s father, a former boyfriend of five years, are no longer together, although he still plays a big role in his girls’ lives. While his mother, who lives in town, helped to put her up before she moved into the Shelter, it was not easy. She left a job in her native Florida to move to Maine when she was very pregnant with her youngest. The journey took three days on a Greyhound bus with her then-boyfriend and squirming child. Her fellow riders kept “predicting when I was going to pop,” she said.
Right now, she finds herself in a bit of a conundrum. Her girls are still so young that she can’t fathom spending time away from them for any reason, “I’m a little nervous with people watching my daughters right now. They’re a little fragile, the way they are,” she said.
Even so, she plans on getting a job as soon as possible. “I’m just used to doing everything….I’m just used to being up on my feet,” she said of juggling motherhood and her chores and her hope to get off of state housing some day. She is no stranger to hard work and hopes that soon she’ll be able to find employment.
In the meantime, “They’ve already helped me out with formula and diapers and outfits—a lot of stuff. The Shelter really does help, big time. I really appreciate it. Because having three kids in diapers is a lot.”
Though the Shelter is strict and it’s hard to share a living space with another family, she’s incredibly grateful of the relief her time there provides. “It’s nice to be here to get a head start,” she said. “I just love ya’ll. I could really use the help.”
Note: This story is anonymous to help protect the identity of the homeless.