A Place to Call Home

Growing up, Neekie never had a place to call home.


For the first 25 years of her life, Neekie was constantly on the move, sometimes in shelters, other times sleeping on a relative’s couch. Time after time, her family lost their home.


Neekie was determined to raise her children in a more stable environment, but when her uncle moved away from Charlotte, she and her sons, Gabriel and Noah, found themselves on the streets yet again.


“Growing up, I told myself I’d never take my kids through this,” she said. “It’s scary – what if I can’t provide for my children? I didn’t want to ask for help, and there were times I wanted to quit, but I needed to stick with it for my family.”


Like many who were raised in a disadvantaged environment, Neekie needed a support system to help her create a better life for her family. That’s why United Way works with a network of community partners to bring a multi-generational approach, helping the parent and the child.


For Neekie, her chance at a new life started with Salvation Army’s Center of Hope providing a roof overhead, plus life-skills resources such as career counseling, budgeting, and even parenting classes on how to be a better mom. While Neekie worked three different jobs to save for a home, she leaned on other partners such as Child Care Resources Inc. to help find childcare, and Crisis Assistance Ministry to provide the initial deposit for an apartment that allowed her family an opportunity to move out of the shelter.


At United Way, we know community problems can’t be solved by focusing on only one problem– we must cross issue areas to weave together solutions. For Neekie and her sons, that approach delivered a safe place to call home, as well as a stronger foundation for future success.


“It feels great to know there are people who want to help,” Neekie said. “To see my kids overly excited, that they have a place to call home, is very peaceful.”


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