In Search of Home

We’re an awesome couple — my baby and I — but no one in Santa Barbara will open their doors to us. I’m a single mom to a precious girl, Emily, who just turned 3. She goes to UCSB’s preschool while I complete my work at SBCC to get my AA in Interior Design. Emily’s father left us about 16 months ago, and Emily and I ended up losing our home. I rented a 10’x10’ guest room with a shower, toilet, and sink, and we made that our home for a little over a year. A week before Emily’s third birthday, we had to move because the room was going to be demolished.

I took out a student loan, planning to pay three months of rent in advance because I had a toddler, and started looking on Craigslist. In a month, I got 67 rejection emails stating “no children allowed,” though I applied to posts that said “family environment.” I started responding to studios for rent and got the response “no couples, no children.” It’s been two months of looking, and I’ve exhausted my funds in staying in hotels. We have nothing left, and the family shelters are full.

My baby loves life, does ballet, plays piano … she is a dream with tons of talent. I, her mother, am a smart woman; I am a great mother; I should not have let her down like this. This coming weekend, we’re looking at living out of my 2000 Ford SUV.

This beautiful town — why does it hate regular single mothers with a child? We need a home; not every family can pay $1,350 plus utilities. I graduated my classes with all B+s, despite being homeless and all the stress that comes with it. I weathered through and finished my classes, we are homeless, and this is my sad story.

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