WHY WE GIVE BACK:
MEET THE WOMEN OF HOPE GARDENS
Did you know that 10% of every purchase you make of von Holzhausen products goes back to a community in need? Los Angeles is facing the largest homelessness issue in the country and as LA natives ourselves, we’re committed to helping in any way that we can. Our give back partner Hope Gardens provides shelter and mentorship programs to women and children facing homelessness, by taking them off the streets and giving them the necessary tools and emotional support they need to move beyond the hopeless life they were once living. So far, von Holzhausen donations (with your help!) have supported Hope Gardens in housing 200 moms and children and 25 senior women who would normally be on the street.
Today we wanted to share a few of the personal success stories from Hope Gardens, because we believe it’s much more powerful to hear real human experiences and see the tangible impact that your support has on the lives of these women.
How Shwonna Went From Sleeping in a Car With 3 Children to Going Back to School for Child Development
Shwonna left her husband after discovering he was abusing drugs while she was pregnant and had three children. She couldn’t stay with family because there was alcohol, drugs and abuse going on in their homes, so she slept in her car with her kids. She would find residential areas to park because she felt safer there, but she couldn’t go to sleep in the car because she was constantly worried and stressed. That’s when Shwonna came to Union Rescue Mission.
“They have good people. The case managers are going to take care of you. This is where you start...They were really genuine. They were really concerned. Any type of help I needed, they helped. I knew we were okay. I knew it was going to get better.”
She was able to get into Hope Gardens after being at URM on Skid Row for two months. “We were welcomed with open arms. I went to classes – [on] domestic violence, parenting, self-esteem classes. I learned a lot. It helped me become the person that I am today.” Now, Shwonna has her own place. “I got a job. I’m going back to school for child development. I wanted better. I knew I deserved better. And I got it.”
Kenyada’s Story: From Imprisoned Meth Addict to Reuniting With Her Daughter
Kenyada was a meth addict for seven years, and eventually went to jail for 18 months. In the process, she lost custody of her daughter. “I loved my daughter, but at one point, I didn’t know how to show her that.”
Kenyada made up her mind while she was in jail that she wanted to turn her whole life around. She came to Union Rescue Mission and then Hope Gardens, where she took classes on overcoming addiction, grief and loss, healthy relationships, and had one-on-one counseling. She graduated from the Hope Gardens program and was reunited with her daughter.
“I’m thankful that I had a chance with my daughter because a lot of people that I know, they really don’t.”
How Kimjoy Left Prison and Turned Her Life Around at Age 60
“This is the first time I’ve had my own place since 2009. All of this was made possible through Hope Gardens. Awesome things have happened to me since I’ve been at Hope Gardens.”
Kimjoy came to Hope Gardens at age 60. She had been selling crack cocaine and became a user herself. Then she spent 16 years in prison. After coming to Hope Gardens and graduating from the program, Kimjoy went to college and got two different degrees. She bought a car, got her own home and became an employee with Union Rescue Mission as a Program Assistant and Youth Case Manager.
“Hope Gardens believed in me when I didn’t even believe in me. They are truly the way home.”