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Kristina’s Story

Baby Jazmine’s happy demeanor reflects her mother's determination to be there for her during her critical first years.

“The only time she cries is when she’s hungry or tired,” Kristina says, her smile reflecting her love for her daughter.

Kristina left a difficult relationship in another state and came first to Medford, where she unknowingly rented housing that was in foreclosure. They had barely settled in when the 30-day notice arrived. They came to Eugene and were staying at the Mission when Kristina learned about First Place Family Center.

They arrived by bus, got signed up for services, and were accepted into the Interfaith Night Shelter program. Now Kristina’s hopes of housing are soaring thanks to Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy and her A Home for the Holidays fund.

Once she has housing, Kristina can dedicate more time to looking for work that will allow her to focus on her daughter’s upbringing. She holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Nebraska. Entry-level jobs in the field are scarce, but Jazmine bolsters her mother’s motivation to get things moving. In the meantime Kristina is grateful for First Place, its staff, and the other parents who understand her occasional need for “a moment.”

Being without housing isn’t easy, she said. “We don’t all ask for the situation or choose to be irresponsible; sometimes it’s just mishaps and the economy, especially for a single parent.”