TwinOaks ImageMary and Robert moved to Twin Oaks Shelter for the Homeless this winter with their four grandchildren. The couple had just gained custody of the children, who are all under the age of six.

Mary is in her mid-forties and was injured while working at her full-time factory job in Fond du Lac. She suffered significant health problems as a result of the injury and ended up losing her job. Robert hadn’t worked in years, but began working in a Walworth County factory after they lost their apartment and moved to the area to live with Robert’s sister and brother-in-law. When they then gained custody of the grandchildren, there just wasn’t enough room for them all.

Robert works the night shift and tries to sleep during the day in the room the six of them share at the shelter. It’s still a small space, but Twin Oaks provides more than just a place to stay. The family participates in weekly workshops on budgeting, cooking, and other life lessons. Mary and Robert are working with their case manager at Twin Oaks to find an affordable apartment, preparing for job interviews and learning about financial literacy.

“I am so humbled and grateful for the room and food Twin Oaks is providing to our family,” says Mary. She hopes to volunteer at Twin Oaks once the family moves into stable housing.

An especially poignant moment for Mary was when her five-year-old granddaughter told her, “I hope we find a home so we can have a puppy.”