Yolanda faced struggles that most people can’t even imagine. Growing up with parents and other family members who were addicted to drugs and alcohol, Yolanda never really knew there was another way to live. She fell into the same patterns of dependency that she grew up observing, and after 25 years of on-again, off-again drug abuse, prostitution and homelessness, Yolanda was tired of existing.
A friend helped her enter into a treatment program where Yolanda achieved sobriety, something she fights to preserve each day. After she was discharged, Yolanda stayed in a shelter, where she remained for 18 months waiting for more permanent housing. In October 2013, she got the call that Deborah’s Place, a United Way partner that provides homeless services and housing assistance for women, had an opening in their apartments. A few weeks later, Yolanda was able to move into her first real home in years.
Yolanda credits Deborah’s Place with helping her rebuild a life where she is at peace and has new opportunities. She starts attending school this September and her goal is to work as a medical assistant.
Without United Way and Deborah’s Place, Yolanda’s story might have been entirely different. She could have been another story of dependency and loss. Now she has stability and goals for the future.
Yolanda’s story — and thousands more like it — changed because of people like you.
In 2013, United Way was able to answer the immediate crisis needs of 798,512 people in our region by providing food, shelter and freedom from violence.
Through proven strategies and quality programs, United Way measurably improves lives for individuals, families and our region. Join us, and change the story for those in need in greater Chicago.