My name is Jan** . I worked as a manager at a Chinese import and export company for 8 years. On Aug. 28th 2016, I became homeless because of domestic violence. Shortly after arriving in Los Angeles, I entered a shelter with my son with only the clothes on our back and the slippers on our feet.
A Case Manager sent me to DPSS to apply for welfare but I didn’t even know how to use an EBT card. The social worker told me to use it like a credit card, so I used it to buy a bus pass. I was crying every night and often during the day because everything was so foreign to me. I asked God: Where are you? Please help me! I was so desperate, and I didn’t know what the future would be.
I had interviewed for two transitional housing programs, one was in Santa Monica, the other Beacon housing. I remembered Psalms 119:105 “Thy Word is a light for my feet, and a lamp on my path”. I chose Beacon housing because I believe here is the place that Lord will lead me to Canaan, my promised land. I stayed in the shelter for 54 days because their lawyer was helping me with the divorce, and I needed that. On the day I went to court, my ex husband told me he had brought some personal belongings for me, I believed him and met him in the parking lot at the court house. He brought my son Albert’s toys, a few of his clothes, and just dumped the boxes in the parking lot. I didn’t have a vehicle but I called Ms Karen (Beacon Housing's manager of Casa de Alegria), and she picked me up and brought me to Casa. My husband did not bring any of my personal belongings. He even kept my passport and documents from immigration so I had NO identification. I had to have all those items replaced, and it took several months to accomplish.
Life has ups and downs, but at Casa I was encouraged through the prayer, and spiritual counseling to look to Jesus for answers and strength. I tasted His word from here. After hitting bottom emotionally, it was time to rise up. One year in the Beacon Housing program and I am rebuilding my life.
I replaced my permanent resident card and social security card, I built my credit and now work part time at Department of Public Social Service, and I bought a car. I know eventually I will have a permanent job in the county.
I am so appreciative of this program, as a new immigrant with domestic violence history. Beacon Housing helped me change from a bundling pupa to a beautiful butterfly to start my new life in America.
**Names have been changed to protect tenant's identity.