Creating and facilitating connections is an integral part of what we do here at Inspiration Corporation. We connect people with homes. We connect people with employment. We connect with other agencies. But most importantly, we connect with our participants. Inspiration works with people to make sure they have what they need.

Connections between the Department of Family and Supportive Services, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless, Chicago Public Schools, La Posada Interim Housing, and many others brought us together with Iris and Danny’s family. After losing his job and being unable to pay rent, Danny moved his family to a friend’s house. Danny shared, “he opened the door for us, but after a week, you start becoming a bother.”

Eventually, they were able to move in La Posada, an interim shelter. After qualifying for a city-funded program called Families In Transition, Danny and Iris’ family was connected with Inspiration Corporation. Inspiration Corporation had been tapped by the city to work with 15 of the 100 families being served through the program, supporting their various needs and helping them find housing. Each family in the program had children in Chicago Public Schools living in what the city called temporary living situations. Danny appreciated the support of their case manager, but recognized how important it is to have a partner. “It hasn’t been easy, but I’m glad I have someone strong like Iris by my side.” Working together, Danny, Iris, and Inspiration Corporation found the family a new home.

Chicago Public Schools Students in Temporary Living Situations reported that during the 2017-2018 school year, 17,894 homeless students attended CPS schools. When children experience homelessness, the lack of stability affects their ability to learn, grow, and develop. This problem is due, in part, to a lack of affordable housing. Jessie, Iris and Danny’s case manager says, “When you offer more affordable housing options and you help families like Danny and Iris, you’re not just helping one family, you’re helping an entire community.”

Having a community to rely on can make all the difference in the world. Danny recommends people who are in a difficult situations stay connected to the system and surround themselves with positive people. Being connected can bring people hope. “When people have hope, when they’re at the bottom, believe me that hope can bring people to do things they’ve never dreamed of.”

Before moving into their new home, Danny and Iris’ children were strongly affected by the moves and living in a shelter. Their older son was very quiet. Now, he’s interacting with the family more and making new friends. The little ones have the space they need to run and play. The family is very excited to spend their first Christmas in their new home.

Danny highlights the connections that paved the way for success. “None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the help of Inspiration, and La Posada, and us too. We all put in part of it to be right here. And it’s like a big family to me-that’s the way I see it.”

We at Inspiration Corporation are glad to have Danny and Iris in our family, and will continue our work to make sure we can provide more families with homes for the holidays.