Stories

Jackie is no Longer Alone and Homeless

Jackie

Jackie was born in Santa Monica and grew up in Glendale. She was an only child. Her father passed away when she was 9 years old. Her mother was the only breadwinner and was always working and not around much. Her aunt raised her for the most part. Jackie graduated from Glendale High School and attended Santa Monica City College where she earned her LVN and went on to work as a nurse for 22 years. She has four grown children.

Everything was going well for Jackie until she got sick and could no longer work. “I was upset and depressed because I loved to work,” says Jackie. She has been out of work for the past 10 years and lost her home. While recovering from a recent knee replacement surgery, Jackie learned she had sepsis and landed in the hospital for 13 days. The hospital staff told her that they couldn’t send her back to the streets and referred her to Harbor Care to complete her recovery. 

“I have been homeless for four years,” says Jackie who has been living at the park that she used to play at when she was growing up. When asked what the hardest part is about being homeless, she said, “Being alone. It took me back to being 9 years old again. My dad’s not around. My mom’s not around. I have kids and I rarely see them,” says Jackie with tears welling up in her eyes. 

Jackie arrived at Harbor Care, settled into her room and started to get to know the residents and staff. “This is home to me because Harbor Care has treated me so good, and the food is great! I have gained five pounds,” says Jackie with a laugh and a smile.  

Jackie had a rough upbringing. She was involved in gangs at the age of 11 and has been shot at multiple times. She managed to make it out of the streets, get an education and have a career, only to end up right back on the streets. 

Fortunately, Jackie will be leaving Harbor Care with the keys to her new apartment in Long Beach. She is planning to teach young people in the local parks to develop their education and skills and prevent them from getting involved with gangs. “When I came to Harbor Care I had no hope. There’s hope now. Life isn’t over. There’re so many things to do. I’m going to get out of that walker,” says Jackie beaming with confidence. 

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