Manny, Cristina, and Jasmine are originally from Queens, NY.  They moved to North Carolina to live with Cristina’s family, but they had to leave when Manny started experiencing some mental health concerns.  He was hospitalized for a time and when they were reunited, the family landed in a Raleigh shelter for families.  “The shelter was kinda difficult,” Cristina remembers, “But I was very grateful that we were able to stay in a safe place.”  The shelter staff helped them apply for and move into a CASA apartment six years ago.

“It’s cozy,” Manny smiles.  “It feels like home here.  I was able to re-establish myself and get a job.  I work for Home Depot.  I have a great place to stay to build my life with my wife and my daughter.  So far, thank God, so good.”

Manny has been fortunate to keep his job throughout the pandemic and economic downturn.  If they didn’t have their apartment during the pandemic, he and Cristina agreed they’d feel stressed and anxious.  “Thank God we’re here during these very hard times,” Manny says.  Cristina is especially grateful for the supportive services she enjoys at her apartment, through her close relationship with her CASA housing specialist, Divida, and CASA’s partnership with the Women’s Center of Wake County, which provides on-site services for the residents in her community.

“Our apartment is letting us rebuild our lives,” Manny explains.  “We’re here.  It’s great to rebuild your life in a safe place and a safe environment.”

Watch a video with Manny, Cristina, and Jasmine!