In today’s day and age, we have instruction manuals for just about anything you want to learn. There are training videos on YouTube, online articles, and numerous other ways to instruct one on any given topic.
However, there is no book, manual, class, or video that can truly prepare you for being a father.
The moment your eyes connect with your child’s for the first time, the initial lesson in loving and caring for another human being begins. You can see yourself in another person – a miniature version of yourself. You may start to hope and dream for this little one, of a life, much better than yours. You see a future in their beautiful eyes. You begin to imagine all of the new experiences this child will have.
While visions of a happy future fill your mind, we can assume the idea of being homeless is not one of the experiences you want to see your child to experience.
Yet, too many of our families are challenged by this every day. In fact, on a single night in January 2013, over 600,000 people in America were experiencing homelessness.
A Homeless Father Shares His Story
Leon Morris, father of two, is one of the many fathers in the U.S. who has faced homelessness. As a single father of two young sons, Jaren, 11, and Taveon, 7, how could he get out of this situation and better his family’s life? How could he be the father his sons needed, if they are homeless?
Leon was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska. Growing up, Leon was cared for by his step-father; a man who taught him how to love, and the special lessons he would share with his sons. Leon looks back on these precious memories, and appreciates all the lessons he learned. He felt special to a man, a father figure who took the time to share compassion, love, and care with a kind heart.
Two and a half years ago, after visiting his family, Leon moved to Southern California. Unfortunately, after the move, he struggled to attain stability in the new area.
With very little resources and nowhere else to turn, he found his way to Martha’s Village. Leon, Jaren and Taveon found a safe place to call home at Martha’s Village, where they could eat three square meals each day and receive help transitioning to permanent housing of their own.
Hope for Leon, and Other Homeless Fathers in Coachella Valley
Leon’s family is grateful for the guidance helping them on the journey to self-sufficiency. Like many families at Martha’s Village, they faced a tough situation, but were able to overcome it with our help.
With the help of Martha’s Village, Leon has the ability to concentrate on a new beginning for his family. He shared with us, “Martha’s is a good place to help you through troubled times; they do their best to help you become self-sufficient. The job club is very beneficial because it teaches you skills for finding employment.”
Leon and his family came to Martha’s just over 4 months ago, and they are well on their way to becoming another success story.
On any given day, in the early evening, just as the sun begins to set, you might see a father and two sons throwing around a football in the grassy area at Martha’s. Playing sports is what makes Leon and his sons happy.
When we asked Leon what makes him most proud of his children, he said, “I like that my children have a willingness to learn, they ask a lot of questions.”
Being a father or parent is a journey of caring for yourself and your children. Along the way, you may experience moments where it seems like there is nowhere to go. Martha’s Village welcomes families of all sizes, and look forward to helping anyone struggling with homelessness. We want to help families, like Leon’s, move forward in their lives.
If you would like to help continue the great work in our community, learn the different ways you can help today.
Leon and his family send a big THANK YOU to all those who support Martha’s!Donate To Help End Homelessness