Raleigh mother, sons must leave homeless shelter by Tuesday

Posted May 31, 2013

— A Raleigh homeless mother, whom WRAL News profiled last week, said she and her two young sons must leave the homeless shelter where they've been staying by next Tuesday.

Jenn, who asked that her and her sons' last names not be used, said she has failed to meet the Raleigh Rescue Mission's criteria for staying there and doesn't know where she and her boys, ages 10 and 4, will go next. Shelter rules require residents to save a certain amount of money they earn to build a nest egg for future independent living.

Jenn holds her 4-year-old son, Nalo, at the Raleigh Rescue Mission Life inside a homeless shelter

Jenn said she appreciates what the rescue mission has done for her family and says she has no hard feelings against the organization.

"We're still seeking housing," Jenn said in an interview Friday morning. "(The shelter is) trying to help me get a place, but I do have a deadline."

Although she works at Subway, the 34-year-old single mother says she doesn't have enough money for a first month's rent and security payment for an apartment. If she can't get an apartment, Jenn says she may use what money she has to rent a U-Haul and try another city.

Adding to her struggle, Jenn said she just received the official diagnosis that her youngest son, Nalo, has autism.

"I'm all they got, and they're all I got," Jenn said of her sons, Nalo and "C."

Jenn is a homeless mom of two Family could lose place at shelter

She left her family and friends in a small Mississippi town last summer and moved her sons to North Carolina’s capital, a place she once visited when she was younger, hoping to find more opportunity in a bigger city.

Without the help of her sons’ fathers, who are “where they’ve always been – somewhere else,” according to Jenn, she rented an apartment in Raleigh. She lost it when the rent went up, so she moved her family to the Raleigh Rescue Mission, where they have lived for the past few months.

"It is kind of tough not knowing (where we'll live next), but you also have to have a plan B to where you're going," Jenn said. "My plan B is to keep moving forward." 

If you'd like to help:

Jenn's family is one of many being helped by the Raleigh Rescue Mission and the Women's Center of Wake County. Although neither organization allows donors to designate help for a particular client, both welcome any aid for their mission of helping the needy.

The Raleigh Rescue Mission accepts donations over the phone at 919-828-9014 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Donations can also be made online.


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  • same ole story Jun 4, 2013

    Time for her to get a big dose of reality. If you want to work at minimum wage then live within minimum wage earnings. YOU ARE ENTITLED TO WHAT YOU EARN NOT WHAT YOU WANT AS A HANDOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • elkerster Jun 3, 2013

    Terkel- you have no idea what her situation was at the time the 2nd child was born.

  • Terkel Jun 3, 2013

    sgr: "None of you know this woman's story, not one of you have walked her path and you feel that you have the right to judge her?"

    We know what the story said, and yes, we're judging. As you're judging us "without knowing".

    "Regardless, she is human and her children are children, they breathe air and feel pain like the rest of us."


    "The thought of them being in this situation is heartbreaking and I believe that rather than barade this woman with what choices you feel she should have made, lend a hand and give her a fighting chance."

    It didn't break her heart enough to stop her from bringing a second child into her poverty. And I'm tired of being told to "lend a hand" when all that means is "hand over cash with no strings...because that would be JUDGING!" Do you not get it? It won't help her! She can't follow rules because she's being told to leave. She does what she wants when she wants!

  • Relic Jun 3, 2013

    I think there are a lot of people posting on this that have been too harsh and assumptive on all the people involved. The Rescue Mission has to have rules and a way to gauge the aid it gives or it will become a perpetual shelter to a limited number of people. Yes, the woman does have a responsibility for bringing two children into the world by two different men, both of whom are deadbeat dads or worse. Yes, there are other people out there with needs as well. Arguing about the cause is pointless when it's already happened in relationship to this family. It is what it is and neither of the children asked to be where they are. We know all the ranting but that doesn't solve the facts.

  • bnwosu Jun 3, 2013

    Bean112455, what do you mean these folks. RACIST you people make
    me sick,.Anytime theres a black person with cnildren or without,
    the true colors come out. I read these comments, and I KNOW WHY
    I dislike you people so much. If this was any other race of people it be fine.

  • bnwosu Jun 3, 2013

    This is for Texasngirl, and all the people who says negitave things about her.Weh ave people in this country everyday getting all they, not even suppose to bec here. But hey they arent black so its tell me howc many people have kids that, are so prepared for them. I wish i could teel you peole what i would like to say.

  • poeticallycorrect-InvNo1 Jun 3, 2013

    I don't understand why she is not able to get into an apartment with the Housing Authority(Housing projects) or another low rent apartment based on income. In my area there are plenty of them. A lot of young people and single mother's live in them and they pay based on their income. One lady I know only has to pay $150 a month for rent. I'm sure Raleigh has these apartments too...maybe they don't have any available? It looks like she would be able to get into one though or try section 8. I am a single mother who works a full time job and a part time job to support myself and my son with no help but I cannot judge someone else for not being able to do it with no help because I dont know their circumstances. Also growing up we were raised in the projects and my mother worked two and three jobs but everytime she got another job to help out the rent would be raised and the foodstamps would be cut. So some systems make it hard for you to get ahead.

  • tierneemalinadeveaux Jun 3, 2013

    Some of the comments on this board are absolutely ridiculous. First of all, apparently she had to save a certain amount of money and was not able to do so working the job she has. It probably does not pay her that much, and if she has a 4-year-old, then she has to pay for daycare. That cuts into her savings drastically. I know. I am a mother. What needs to happen is that the Rescue Mission needs to evaluate people on a case-by-case basis and do for them what needs to be done to help them. Forcing this woman and her two innocent babies out on the street is cruel, and the Rescue Mission will never get another donation from me based on this story.
    Some of you liberals ought to stop pointing your judgmental fingers and start trying to help someone other than yourselves.

  • sgrbus May 31, 2013

    Some of the comments on here truly break my heart. What kind of world do we live in where, when after reading something like this we are overcome more by self righteousness than compassion. None of you know this woman's story, not one of you have walked her path and you feel that you have the right to judge her? Regardless, she is human and her children are children, they breathe air and feel pain like the rest of us. The thought of them being in this situation is heartbreaking and I believe that rather than barade this woman with what choices you feel she should have made, lend a hand and give her a fighting chance.

  • bean112455 May 31, 2013

    I also believe in the greater good of folks and try to help always, however times are tough and it has been getting tougher by the days. You either step up and take what is giving to you, do what you can and hope for the best, or you sink and swim along with all the rest of us who has been there done that. She obviously hasn't done 100% of what was expected of her at the homeless shelter, therefore....rules are rules and she must go. My prayers will be for the sake of the children for they are always the innocent.