“It felt amazing when I first got my apartment. I just sat there the first two nights staring out the window and I was so thankful — thankful for the people I met and proud of myself for sticking it out this long.”
Growing up, I had a really hard family life – my dad was always in and out of jail and my mom was always working. As time went on, the situation built up a lot of anger inside of me and it affected my mental health. By my junior year in high school, I started to fight a lot with my sisters and would end up running away and staying at friends’ houses. Thankfully, after I graduated high school I had gotten into and started attending nursing school to get my LPN certification, and I was starting to feel settled. But then the boyfriend I was staying with got arrested, and suddenly I was on my own again. I had just turned 18 and I didn’t want to go to a shelter, but that was my only option, so I started making calls.
I got a call back from Maya’s Place at The Children’s Village saying they had an open bed for me. I immediately met with my case planner Melissa, who set me up with mental health services to resolve my anger issues from my childhood. It took some time, but she and my therapists really helped me open up. After 6 months, Melissa informed me that there may be an apartment available for me to live in at CV’s supported housing building in Harlem. I started the application process and in a few weeks I was there.
It felt amazing when I first got my apartment. I just sat there the first two nights staring out the window and I was so thankful – thankful for the people I met and proud of myself for sticking it out this long.
With all the support I received since living in Harlem, I was able to graduate nursing school. In January I finally got my registration papers and I am now a Licensed Practical Nurse. I want to go back to school to get my Bachelor of Science in Nursing and become a Registered Nurse. I’ve always wanted to make an impact on people, and I think that’s what fuels my passion for nursing. I also want to help other girls that may be going through a situation like mine or who have the same issues I did. I want to share my own experience with them and help them understand that there is a lot of pressure in society that comes with being a girl, but it will all work out in the end. Everyone is on their own timeline, it’s just what you make of it that matters.
Lilliana is a resident in our Harlem building, in one of 12 studio apartments reserved for youth formerly in foster care or at risk of homelessness. CV’s Harlem apartments are both affordable and beautiful with outdoor terraces overlooking NYC. Residents receive services like career counseling, budgeting and financial assistance, and more depending on their needs. What We Believe – The families and young adults we serve deserve affordable and beautiful homes that are located in integrated communities, not segregated neighborhoods.