Chicago House recently sat down with Raven, a former resident of the Family Support Program (FSP), for a weekly success story feature titled “Residents Corner”, which is a review of the impact our programs have on our clients.
Chicago House: Tell us your history with Chicago House?
Raven: My family and I came to Chicago House a little over 10 year ago. We were a part of the Family Support Program.
Chicago House: What was your first impression of Chicago House?
Raven: It really felt like a family here. It felt warm and inviting, very natural.
Chicago House: What’s the biggest change you’ve experienced with Chicago House?
Raven: A lot of people know that before we came here, our living situation was horrible. We basically stayed in a little motel room with a twin size bed and there were 7 of us. Everything changed once being accepted into the Family Support Program. We had our own place, our own beds, and we got a lot of help with school. We didn’t have to worry about where our next meal would come from.
Chicago House: What is your fondest memory at the Family Support Program and Chicago House?
Raven: This one moment keeps playing in my head; it was a time when my mom wasn’t around and Andrea took on that mother’s role. She would come and cook for us, and we’d play games. That was always a moment that stuck with me. Another moment is thinking about hanging out with all the kids here. We all grew up together. We all came to the program around the same time, so we all in keep in touch with each other.
Chicago House: What do you wish other people knew about Chicago House?
Raven: That’s it is not just a social service agency; it goes way beyond that. They’re not just about placing you in this home. They give you tools that can help you every step of your life. It’s not just one thing they’re helping you with, it’s multiple things.
Chicago House: Describe Chicago House in 3 words..
Raven: Family, caring, and compassionate.
Chicago House: What would you like to say to the supporters and donors of Chicago House?
Raven: Your donations and monetary contributions are really critical to the people that are really struggling out here. Without this program, my family and I would be another statistic. We wouldn’t have the things we have and we wouldn’t be where we are right now. Their support is really needed and appreciated.
Chicago House: What might someone be surprised to know about you?
Raven: Because of this agency, I decided to go into the field of social work. I myself am a case manager. I think it is important for me to give back, pay it forward and help other families who might be in the same situation my family was.
Chicago House: What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating, volunteering, etc.?
Raven: I definitely encourage volunteering just so you can get a feel for the program and know what the kids are like. The kids here are very grateful for everything the donors give and do for us. It’s important to donate and give back and pay it forward to the next person.
Chicago House: What’s the biggest impact Chicago House has had on your life?
Raven: I graduated high school which was something I didn’t think I would do. I graduated college 3 months ago with a Bachelor’s in Science. I have a career, I got to travel to different states and learn about different cultures.