Originally from Pennsylvania, Ms. Bobo moved to Texas in 1999, with her mother and siblings. In 2016, after living in Houston for nearly 20 years, Ms. Bobo came home from work one day to a condemned apartment, with no prior notice given. With nowhere else to go, this was the event that triggered her homelessness.
While trying to navigate through the streets for the better part of two years, Ms. Bobo’s main focus was always on her daughters, making sure that they never went without a roof over their heads. “I would not allow for them to be out there with me,” said Ms. Bobo. “I refused to let that happen.”
It wasn’t until Housing Navigators Nye Hicks at SEARCH Homeless Services, Inc., and Tonoa Bond at Career and Recovery Resources, Inc., reached out to Ms. Bobo this April, that a glimmer of hope began to shine through. “I received a list of people experiencing homelessness for me to begin working with in April, and Ms. Bobo was the first person on my list,” said Nye. “I reached to her immediately to let her know she was eligible for housing, and within an hour she was there with me filling out paperwork.” Ms. Bobo also utilized resources through PATH Street Outreach through the Harris Center, The Beacon, and Healthcare for the Homeless – Houston, while experiencing homelessness.
Though the paperwork was quickly completed and Ms. Bobo was more than ready to have a home again, it wasn’t as easy as that. “It was really challenging, we faced a lot of barriers trying to get her an apartment,” said Nye. “From inspections failing to payments not going through, we worked for six months trying to get her into her new home.”
Despite multiple setbacks, including being told more than once she would no longer be able to move in while she was on the way to get her keys, Ms. Bobo remained hopeful. She credits Nye and Tonoa’s determination and compassion as to why she was able to get into permanent supportive housing. “We kept on top of each other,” said Ms. Bobo. “They helped me greatly through the whole process, and I tried to be there anytime I needed to be. It was a very emotional time for all of us, but we always had each other’s backs.”
When Ms. Bobo was able to walk through the door to her new home for the very first time, she says she felt absolutely ecstatic. “It was funny because no one, not even my mom or sister, believed that I finally had a home,” she said, with a smile slowly forming on her face. “I had to physically show them the keys! I even had Nye vouch for me that I did in fact have my own place, and I was ready to start my life again.”
When asked what she wishes people knew about those experiencing homelessness, two things come to mind: “For one, not every person who is homeless is cut from the same cloth, we all go through our own tragedies,” says Ms. Bobo. “And two, we are humans just like everyone else and being homeless does not change that; we’re just trying to find a place of our own.”
For now, she is focused is on getting back into a normal routine and spending much needed time with her two daughters. And even though they may not be the biggest fans of keeping their rooms clean, she says she sure enjoys being able to be under the same roof as them again. Her future aspirations include going back to school to get her degree, and eventually becoming a veterinarian technician.