A Single Mother's Resilience

From spending the night in their car to a more stable life

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In central Maryland, housing costs are among the highest in the nation — and rents continue to increase each year. While a marginal increase is merely inconvenient to some, to others, like Charlotte, a local mother of three, it can be debilitating.

Charlotte was barely making ends meet when her landlord made the unsettling announcement that he was raising her rent. Unable to afford the extra expense, Charlotte faced a parent’s worst nightmare: She couldn’t provide a safe, stable place for her children to sleep. Instead, Charlotte and her children crowded into the family’s car for the night.

It was at that moment that Charlotte realized she needed help to change her situation, so she turned to United Way partner, St. Vincent de Paul of Baltimore. The organization referred Charlotte to a transitional housing program that helps people learn to live independently, with the ultimate goal of progressing to permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

To Charlotte, the keys to making that transition were returning to school and getting a better job. With help from United Way and its partners—and a healthy dose of resilience and determination—Charlotte achieved both goals: She completed school, currently works two jobs, and opened a savings account to help provide a bright, stable future for her family.

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