Home Sweet Home: Leila’s Story
As a single mother with two daughters, Leila had a lot on her plate. After coming to America from Liberia, Leila became a licensed practical nurse. Despite her steady work, Leila did not have health insurance. After experiencing a serious illness, she was left with overwhelming medical bills, and after struggling to pay her rent, Leila and her family became homeless. To regain her stability, Leila turned to INMED’s Opening Doors program in hopes of paying off her debt and ultimately owning a place she and her daughters could call home.
With these goals in mind, Leila focused on paying her outstanding bills with the help of her case manager by negotiating payment arrangements and budgeting effectively. She successfully eliminated her debt and improved her credit scores, allowing her to buy a car and save money towards her dream of owning a home. While her case manager helped her obtain health coverage, Leila also worked and studied to obtain U.S. citizenship.
“I am grateful to call this a home…owning a home will mean more stability for us.”
Near the end of her time in the Opening Doors program, Leila applied—and was approved for—a home purchase through Habitat for Humanity. On top of working night shifts as a nurse and taking care of her daughters, Leila worked alongside Habitat for Humanity volunteers. Her home-to-be was located within walking distance of her younger daughter’s school, and rehabilitating the three-bedroom townhouse took hundreds of hours of installation, plumbing and painting.
After several months of hard work and “sweat equity,” Leila and her daughters were finally able to begin a new life in their home. Their once-distant dream had become a reality, and while a newspaper reporter covered the ribbon-cutting ceremony of her new home, Leila expressed her extreme gratitude to those who helped her achieve it.
“Thank you for all your support,” she said. “I am grateful to call this a home…owning a home will mean more stability for us.”
Now, Leila is registered for college classes and planning for the future. She is a testament to how much can be achieved with the help of INMED programs.