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Partnerships in West Michigan Help Reach More Families

Shy is a single mother of three from Gr. Rapids who has struggled with homelessness twice, despite working multiple jobs to stay afloat. Even making $60,000 annually, she and her family still were living in a hotel. As she began to get back on her feet, living in permanent housing, earning her real estate license and volunteering for the organization that provided her housing, she was dealt another blow.

“Just as I’m coming out of my crisis, being housed and getting it together, now I got cancer,” said Shy. “It completely took away my income. I’m self-employed as both a realtor and doing DoorDash deliveries – and now I can’t drive. I’m in pain, and when not in pain, I’m sleeping because of the narcotics. What was I supposed to do?”

“I have the most supportive family who has been with me every step of the way, but they couldn’t help with my greatest stressor – which was paying my bills.”

Shy was referred to New Day by Village99, a nonprofit which connects West Michigan families in need with community resources in order to have improved physical and mental health, educational, and financial outcomes. New Day has since become an official partner of Village99, one of many nonprofit alliances being made to help families across West Michigan.

“New Day was a lifesaver for me,” said Shy. “You guys touched my heart and made sure we made it through this journey. My car alone is how I make money, so to not have to worry about waking up to it being towed away and thinking ‘I can’t get to radiation!’ – was so much strain taken off of me. I didn’t have to go through all types of hula hoops to get help either; you were so fast so and so proactive about getting it done.”

Today, Shy is happy to be back at work following surgery and radiation for Stage IV cancer.


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