Brisben Perspectives: Marisa's Story

Marisa is a smiling, outgoing mother of two young boys. Behind the smile is an extremely determined young woman, who has faced down, and overcome being homeless. Her story begins with the separation from her husband, loss of her home, and the loss of her ability to financially support herself and the children. She found herself staying in area hotels, and on her own with her two sons.

She was living in Caroline County and doing some research on options for places to stay. It was in December and she was getting desperate because their money was running out. Marisa was praying for God to provide her and the boys a safe and stable place to stay. She was feeling both helpless and hopeless when she found Brisben's website. On December 21 she called Brisben and the staff got her and the boys in that same day.

Marisa said that she found Brisben to be a welcoming place with other children and families, a playground, a room for kids, laundry, computer room and lots of opportunities. She got settled in as Christmas Day rapidly approached. She was worried about how she would provide her sons with anything for Christmas. However she was totally surprised and overwhelmed with the generosity, gifts, and care they received at Christmas. Brisben staff, volunteers, donors and the community’s generosity made it one of her best Christmases.

Marisa explained that she succeeded at Brisben by taking advantage of every resource offered. She met with her case manager Jessica weekly, used the job help program to gain employment at Walmart, and other things began falling in place. There were still major challenges, for example she did not have a car. She described her journey to regain independence as lots of very hard work. She said there were times when she didn't think she could go on. However, she firmly replied, “that with my kids, failure was not an option."

She said that she's a much stronger individual now and that it is possible to overcome homelessness.

Marisa and her boys regained their own home and received a car from Brisben partner, Compassion Restoration Ministries, on the same day!!

Marisa said that she had great support from Brisben and from the many people who backed her during her return to independence.