By Brian Andrews
Homestead (CBS4) – For Courtney Hill and her children in Homestead, this Mother’s Day marked a milestone. The finally had a roof over the head.
After falling into homelessness, Hill got help from a South Florida program called Carrfour. “I was just a paycheck away from being homeless and it happened,” she said.
Hill lost her job when the economy turned south. Shortly after being laid off from Homestead Hospital, the bills started to mount. So did the stress in her marriage. Her husband left her and then the bank foreclosed on the home where she was living with her kids.
“We winded up living in my SUV, which was a Ford Expedition. It was me at eight months pregnant with twins and my son and my daughter,” she said.
Hill and her children lived in that SUV which she parked near her kid’s school in Goulds.
“Everyday we bathed at a corner store and I would make sure that my son and my daughter were in school and that we were safe in the car,” said Hill.
Days after entering a homeless shelter, Hill went into labor and gave birth to twin girls. Three weeks later, with the help of social workers, she was able to get accepted into the Carrfour program.
“A lot of people give homeless people a stigma that they’re not worth anything. You pass them on the street everyday and people don’t bother to care, but these are really people,” said Hill.
She and her family moved in to the Verde Garden’s townhomes that are part of the Carrfour program. Anthea Pennant runs the program for Carrfour.
“When I think about the fact that we live in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, it is astonishing to me that we should ever have people who are living without a home,” said Pennant.
Now, a year later, Hill said everything is so much better.
“Things did a huge turn around. My kids were happy. I was happy. I went back to school to get a degree in Business Administration,” said Hill. “It’s been an awesome journey. I’ve learned from going from having something then not having anything to having something again, and if it wasn’t for Carrfour I don’t know where my family would have been. Now I have my four children with me and things are looking much better now. A lot better.”