I was literally homeless, living out of a car in Waimanalo with my four-month old son when the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii came into my life. It was rough. There were times I broke down because I couldn’t provide for him. We would drive to Hawaii Kai to shower and bathe -- I felt like it was the safest place for us.
My attorney, Dana, from Legal Aid’s Whole Child Project, helped me to get my son’s birth certificate and other paperwork so I could get into housing. I thought that when my son was born, I would get his birth certificate for free. I couldn’t even afford to pay for it. Getting all that paperwork taken care of helped me and my son to get off the streets.
Today, I am enrolled in Windward Community College and have a goal to further my education to become a medical coder. I also just got a job and my son was accepted into a daycare. Legal Aid helped me to create a new life, a better life for my son. During those hard times, I remember looking at my son and telling myself, “It’s not about me anymore. I want him to be in a better position than me. I want him to know that if I can do it, he can do it."
If it wasn’t for Legal Aid, I would still be on the streets. I went from having nothing, to now building my life, my goals, and my dreams. I didn’t plan to be on the streets, but that’s what happened in my life. Thankfully, Legal Aid stepped up and showed me the first step I needed to take so I could finally climb out.