New Beginning for TracyTracy, 53 years old, came to Hawthorn Hill’s New Directions Shelter not sure what was going to happen to her and her family. She came with one of her daughters, Jazlyn (21 years old), and Jazlyn’s two sons Jamir (2 years old) and Jaiden (4 months old).  They had just come from Waterloo seeking a better life for Jazlyn’s two young boys.

Tracy had accepted a position with Unity Point in Des Moines before they arrived in Des Moines. Unfortunately, due to some economic hardships, they didn’t have the money to afford housing once they came to Des Moines so they needed assistance from New Directions Shelter to help them get back on their feet and obtain a home.

While staying at New Directions Shelter, Tracy started her new job at Unity Point and became a positive and encouraging person to the other families in the shelter. During her stay here, Tracy’s other daughter was also experiencing homelessness and it was decided by the family that Tracy’s teenage granddaughter (14 years old) should come and stay at New Directions Shelter as well. The family of 4 became a family of 5.

Tracy woke up with a smile on her face and cheer in her voice every day at the shelter. She became the “house mom” for the other families at New Directions Shelter. Shortly after the family entered shelter, Tracy and Jazlyn were accepted into the West Des Moines Rapid Rehousing program. They quickly hit the ground running looking for a new home and located an apartment that would fit their family size. Tracy, Jazlyn and her grandkids moved into their new home on the south side of Des Moines in August 2017 and they are off to a great start in Des Moines!