The Places You’ll Go

 

After years of drug abuse and rebellious behavior in her teens, Rylee unexpectedly found herself pregnant and homeless at age 20. She couch-hopped with friends for weeks, then lived on the patio of an abandoned home, before finally acknowledging she needed to bring her son into the world in a healthier environment.

 

Recovery began when she was introduced to Care Ring’s Nurse Family Partnership, which pairs first-time, at-risk moms with care from a registered nurse. Beyond supporting the health of both mother and child, the program helps new moms gain the tools needed to achieve self-sufficiency, and improves school readiness by supporting early reading.

 

Reconnecting with her estranged parents also proved pivotal when Rylee’s father helped guide her through a system established by United Way to reduce homelessness. She wasn’t eligible for housing initially, but with the support of Crisis Assistance Ministry, she got into the Shelter Plus Care program shortly before Adrian was born.

 

Now being raised by Rylee and his father, Kevin, and living in Grier Heights, 2-year-old Adrian is thriving, healthy, and exceeding all developmental milestones.

 

“There was a point in time where I could not help myself,” Rylee said. “But there are people out there who do want to help, and I’m beyond thankful for them.”

 

Some seasons of life require we turn over a new leaf. Rylee was able to do that with the help of United Way partners. If you’ve turned over a new leaf in your own life, please share your story by emailing us at unitedway@uwcentralcarolinas.org.

 

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