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Cecilia, Melanie & David: Overcoming Adversity Together with Support of Thomas House Family Shelter

Meet Cecilia, a courageous mother, and her two children, Melanie and David, whose lives have been profoundly touched by the caring community at Thomas House Family Shelter. Her path to Thomas House was marked by challenges, but her determination to provide a better life for her and her children ultimately led her to this remarkable turning point.

unhoused family sits at table smiling

A Rocky Start

Cecilia and her family found themselves facing uncertainty when they were asked to leave their previous living situation. With the soaring costs of housing, Cecilia, a single mother, struggled to find a suitable home while also providing for her children. But this was just the beginning of their story.


Cecilia's own journey is one of remarkable strength and recovery. She has been in recovery for seven years, successfully overcoming a drug addiction that started in her early twenties as a means to cope with her personal traumas.

A New Beginning at Thomas House

Their journey led them to Thomas House Family Shelter in February 2022, where Cecilia set her sights on a brighter future. Her goals were clear: to learn new skills, budget wisely, and secure a stable home for her family —a dream she had never realized before.

Melanie and David were quickly integrated into Thomas House's support programs. Engaging in the Youth Development Program & Teen Case Management Program, they participated in one-on-one case management meetings, received help with homework, and engaged in enrichment programs. Additionally, Both Melanie and David received essential mental health services to improve their individual well-being and strengthen the bonds within their family.


Unhoused family sit on couch at shelter
Boy doing homework
Girl reading a book








Overcoming Hurdles

Cecilia worked tirelessly, not just to secure a stable job but to maintain her hard-earned sobriety. She participated in career development services, honing her interview skills and crafting a winning resume. Challenges arose, including a setback due to medical reasons, but Cecilia's determination never wavered. She is now employed full-time, maintaining her sobriety while her daughter Melanie's mental health has improved significantly. Melanie's school attendance has been consistent, and she even volunteers in Thomas House's Youth Development Program. David, her son, demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities, becoming a youth leader at OC Peace Camp, a testament to his growth during their stay at Thomas House. In addition, Cecilia herself achieved a significant milestone by obtaining her driver's license, a feat she initially doubted but ultimately accomplished with the support of her dedicated case manager.

Woman holding sobriety chip
Boy at camp, youth leader
Girl holding stuffed animal, Buzzlight Year


Thomas House: A Lifeline

For Cecilia, Thomas House was more than just shelter; it was a lifeline. A key aspect of Cecilia's transformation has been her improved communication and understanding with her children. She attributes much of her progress to the support she received at Thomas House, singling out her case manager, Lorena, as a pivotal figure in her journey. "I found all the help I didn't know I needed," she said.

Future Aspirations

With graduation from Thomas House on the horizon, Cecilia has set her sights on continuing her education. She plans to learn English and obtain her GED to secure a better job. David aims to pursue sports, while Melanie has an interest in job readiness programs and photography.


The family is gearing up for a significant transition: moving into a two-bedroom condo with a garage. This newfound stability promises a brighter future.

Gratitude and Hope

Cecilia's gratitude for Thomas House is immeasurable. "Coming to Thomas House with my children was a blessing," she says. "Today my life has changed a lot in all aspects with my children. I have a better relationship, and we are ready to move. We are going to have our own apartment."


Cecilia's transformation echoes in her words: "I feel like a brand-new person that can live life happily, with hope. I truly believe in myself and believe there are nice people out there."

How You Can Make a Difference

Cecilia's journey has been made possible through the support of people like you. You can make a lasting impact by:

- Donating: Click [here] to contribute.

- Volunteering: Join us in our pantry, help stage a unit, or participate in our youth development program.

- Donating Furniture: Assist our families in transitioning to their new homes with ease.

Cecilia's story is a testament of love, empowerment, and accountability. Together, we can continue to change lives and offer hope to families like Cecilia's at Thomas House Family Shelter.

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