Monday, June 17, 2019

From homelessness to homeownership - Misty's story

When my children and I walked through the doors at Sheffield Place three years ago, I had no idea what an impact it would make on my life. Sadly, I was lost and hurting with no idea where my life was headed.

You see, the story of my childhood is one of despair. My parents were alcoholics and addicted to drugs. As a result, my brothers and I suffered frequent mental and physical abuse at the hands of our step-father. We never had enough food and were constantly living without heat, electricity or water.

Evictions were common, resulting in a constant cycle of homelessness. We lived on people’s couches, in cars, even in tents at campgrounds. We never went to shelters though, because my parents said that they we horrible places.

So, you can imagine my apprehension when first coming to Sheffield. I had no idea what to expect.  Never did I think that I would be learning and growing there. I mean, before coming to Sheffield, I had issues that I didn’t even comprehend. Growing up, I was never taught about credit, budgeting or boundaries and it showed.

During my late teens and twenties when I was out on my own, I lived a damaging life. I made poor relationship choices and ended up raising three kids on my own. I made poor career choices and was perpetually unsuccessful. I made poor financial choices and was chronically homeless… just like my parents. Even though I didn’t have a drug problem and was always a good mommy, my adult life did feel somewhat like my childhood in that, I struggled to feed my children and couldn’t pay my bills.

Thankfully, Sheffield Place helped me break the cycle. First, through counseling I was able to identify boundary issues and heal from the traumas in my past. Through case management I was able to make plans to achieve the goals that I had previously been too broken to even acknowledge. Through mentoring I was able to define me that I wanted to be and move towards being a functional, happy person. Lastly, through the daily classes, I was taught how to become self-sufficient and maintain financial stability.

With a lot of hard work, and help from the Sheffield staff, I am now living my best life. I have a rewarding job, but I am also attending college courses online to continue my education and further my career. For the first time in my life, I have a budget and I am financially secure. Therefore, I am able to feed my children and pay my bills.  Plus, because I have been living in an extremely affordable Sheffield house for the last two years, I had the money to repair my credit. As a result, I have been approved for a home loan and I am currently looking to buy a house! With my past, I had never dreamed that home-ownership would be possible.

Because of Sheffield Place, my future looks brighter than I had even imagined. You all pushed me to dream big, to work hard and to believe in myself. Then, you helped me to develop the skills that I needed to succeed. Now, my family is happier and healthier than ever before. My children and I thank you.

With love,


Postscript - On June 14, Misty completed the purchase of a house for her family.  She is now a homeowner just a few years after being homeless.  

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Volunteer Shares His Experience Working with Sheffield Place Moms

In my experience, Sheffield Place is one of the best and most effective social service agencies I have ever seen. They work with a group of people who have many issues including being abused at all levels as a child and adult, who are homeless, substance abuse issues, no income, and have not had the opportunity to develop sound decision making skills.

This is a very difficult group to have success with. Sheffield Place provides a place to live that is safe and has reasonable rules that are enforced. Sheffield Place teaches good emotional growth, good judgement skills, and good coping skills. Each resident has a chance to learn what they need to become a functioning adult with the skills to live in society and be an effective parent.

The staff is hard working and streetwise enough to know when someone is trying to avoid responsibility. Sheffield Place requires each resident go to groups, engage in treatment, get a job, obtain a stable living environment, and participate in social groups. These, along with developing organizational skills, will help the individual stabilize their life.

Sheffield Place wins national awards for the work they do with their residents. The awards are well deserved. 

My situation is that I am a retired male clinical social worker who worked in the field for over 40 years. Sheffield Place allows me to conduct a clinical group with the residents. I have been truly amazed how willing the women are to work on their issues and listen to feedback on ways to improve their lives. This would never be true without the very effective work of the Sheffield Place staff.

Sheffield Place wins my whole support and respect for the great and measurably effective work they do.

David Showalter LCSW
Sheffield Place Volunteer