Success Stories

SUCCESS STORIES

Success Stories


To date, 145 Austin families have called Saint Louise House home. Saint Louise House alumnae have gone on to raise strong children, earn advanced degrees, develop successful careers and participate fully in the Austin community. *Names have been changed for privacy.

Kayla* is a recent recipient of a master’s degree in social work. A self-confident and independent role model for her young daughter, this alumna is giving back every day to our central Texas community. A graduate of the state foster care system, she shares her story of challenge and success with other families and Saint Louise House volunteers. She inspires others with her intellect and humor. She has served on a Saint Louise House board committee and worked as an intern while obtaining her master’s degree. Her daughter is a smiling, happy 4-year-old who often attends Saint Louise House gatherings with her mom. She likes hair bows and enjoys chocolate chip cookies and the playground at school.

Ashley* came to Saint Louise House looking for a second chance. She had been in an abusive marriage for years and became homeless because she left her husband. She was pregnant and had two children with her when she made the journey to safety here in Austin. She applied for housing with the Housing Authority of Austin, but the wait list

was almost a year. She turned to local abuse shelters, but she got sent away because she was not in immediate danger. She went to apartment locators, but they could not help her since she did not have any income. She ended up living in a motel. Saint Louise House gave Ashley the opportunity to grow as a mother and an individual. Ashley had a good work history. She was willing to work, but she had to leave all of her previous jobs because of her husband’s abuse. He would harass her and her coworkers while she was working. After being accepted into Saint Louise House and getting away from the abuse, she was able to get a job with local non-profit aimed at helping homeless immigrants. Saint Louise House also helped her navigate the housing bureaucracy, relocating her birth certificate that was lost in Hurricane Katrina, getting legally divorced and filing for child support. Ashley was also able to build good rental history and save money for a car. Both she and her children were able to obtain counseling for the abuse. Since she has left St. Louise House, she has become an assistant manager at a retail store. She has maintained her permanent housing, and her children love to be able to ride their bikes in the driveway.

Hear from Saint Louise House Families

Saint Louise House alumna

“When my son and I moved in, and I realized the door that had just closed behind me actually locked, I breathed freely for the first time in almost a year. I knew that I had finally found a home. Throughout the months I have been here, the office staff has become a family to me. When things are good, they cheer me on. When things go wrong, they help me figure out how to fix it. Thanks to Saint Louise House, I know that when the time comes for me to move on, I can do so with confidence and self-respect. Saint Louise House offers women in my position a chance to become the women they were always meant to be, and gives their children a chance to thrive in a safe, loving environment.”

Saint Louise House mother

“We don’t know [volunteers & donors] in person, but we know their hearts. They are role models for our kids who learn about giving through them. When our children grow up, we tell them to do what they’re doing and give a hand to others.”

Saint Louise House resident, 4 years old

“How do you feel about living here at Saint Louise House?”
“I feel warm and cozy. I like to cook with my mom.”

Saint Louise House resident, 13 years old

“Moving to Saint Louise House was amazing. The whole apartment was just for us! After a year and a half here, things are really different. Some hard things have happened to my family in the past year, but we feel stronger. My mom laughs more, and works better. She’s not as tired anymore. My little brother isn’t sick anymore. I’m doing really well in seventh grade.”

Saint Louise House alumna

“As a former resident of St. Louise House I participated in all their programs, the rules, the regulations, and it helped me to get to where I am right now. Currently, I live in my own apartment with my two kids, I have a full-time job as a teacher’s assistant, and my life is getting better through the help of Saint Louise House. Saint Louise House is a really a good program for women, especially for single parents like me. I thank God for them. For a little over a month, I participated in the job search program. I learned resume-writing skills and interview tips, as well as how to apply those skills to future job searches. I think the most important skill I used, though, was self-awareness. You have to ask yourself what you want from life. You have to assess yourself well and know that the people of Saint Louise House are there to help you. That’s their number one goal: to help you get back on your feet and to support you in the process of accomplishing your goals. This program is all about the relationships between the staff and residents. It’s important that residents know that the staff is there to support them. Together, they will work through it, and the residents will be closer to realizing their dreams.”

Saint Louise House resident, 9 years old

“What do you like to do when you get home from school?”
“My mom gives me food, I clean my room, and I go out and play.”

Saint Louise House alumna

“Being a parent is the biggest job I’ll ever have, and sometimes it scares me. But, then I hear my son say his prayers at night and I hear him thank God for ‘my mommy,’ I realize that we’ll be OK.”

Saint Louise House resident, 5 years old

“What do you like best about your house?”
“My TV, my bedroom. We have our own kitchen.”

Saint Louise House resident, 9 years old

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I like science and math best—I want to become a doctor.”

Saint Louise House alumna

“I will miss the warmth of the community. There is a lot of support here. I have learned how to be a successful single mom without a husband and also, how to live on my own. This place has given me a chance to start over in a more successful life. Saint Louise House has given me a new foundation that I can use to build on and improve myself.”

Saint Louise House alumna

“When you walk into a shelter you are broken. My life and my heart were broken into a million pieces. Saint Louise House has helped me put those pieces back together.”

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