In just a few days, Precious Life Shelter of Los Alamitos will welcome the first tenants to its new permanent supportive housing units that are located within walking distance of its main facility and thrift shop. The Cherry Street Units are for parenting women and their children who have gone from homelessness to housed. The new units represent Precious Life’s ongoing commitment to providing a safe haven for expectant women who had nowhere else to go.
Cynthia Davenport and her 1-1/2-year-old daughter Audrina will be one of the fortunate tenants saying “home sweet home” in one of the new units.
Cynthia was 26-years-old and three weeks pregnant when she arrived at Precious Life in October 2015. “I was living in my car, which I knew was not safe because of the dangers of being parked in squalor neighborhoods. So I sold my car to get money to move into a motel.”
However, the money would only give Cynthia a few weeks respite. When it ran out, she and her unborn child would be forced to live on the streets. Volunteers of America, who work with the homeless, heard of her plight and suggested that she reach out to Precious Life Shelter
“At first, I was hesitant to contact them,” Cynthia recalled. “I thought the place would be a large gym filled with cots. That worried me as much as sleeping in my car.”
To Cynthia’s surprise, she found a home-like setting for pregnant women who needed guidance to become self-reliant members of the community. Throughout her pregnancy and after the birth of her daughter, she attended parenting workshops and also learned how to budget so she could do more than live paycheck to paycheck. Most important, Cynthia learned how to stay sober.
“I needed help to stop using drugs and Precious Life got me that help,” she shared. “I started attending Narcotics Anonymous meetings and still attend them once a week plus other support groups to help maintain my sobriety.”
As Cynthia gained employable skills, she took an entry-level position with McDonald’s restaurants. Today, she is a hardworking manager at one of their restaurants where she supervises shift employees.
With a promising future, Cynthia said that Precious Life Shelter changed her life. “The organization helped me to get back up on my own two feet and accomplish goals that I once thought were impossible. I am just so grateful to be here and so very proud of myself for becoming a better parent. This is all thanks to Precious Life for saving me.”
Founded in 1982 when Theresa and Don Sherrin took four expectant homeless women into their home, the non-profit shelter has helped hundreds of women like Cynthia to become self-reliant members of the community. For more information, contact Executive Director Theresa Murphy at (562) 431-5025.
This article was released by Precious Life Shelter.