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Network of shelters help the 'working homeless'

Updated: Thursday, October 24 2013, 09:41 PM CDT
Reported by: Ewa Roman

HARRISBURG -- Born in Puerto Rico, Katherine Hernandez came to the U.S. with big dreams, but she says her abusive husband wouldn't allow any of them to come true.

"It was really ugly and I just couldn't stay there no more," Hernandez, a homeless mother of three, said.

She left, taking her five-year-old son Edwin, and her daughters, eight-year-old Kiara and 10-year-old Kayla, with her. The family bounced around from shelter to shelter, then she found Family Promise.

Her face lights up when she talks about it.

"When I came to Family Promise, I remember how it was. I was so tired of so many transitions I said to myself this has to be my last stop," Hernandez said.

Family Promise helps her look for work during the day. But it also helps others, people who are employed but still can't afford the rent. They're called the working homeless.

"They're usually hopping between different hotel rooms if they can afford it.

Sometimes living in their car, in emergency shelters that kind of thing just to try and make it," Krissy Marshall, Network Director of  Family Promise of the Harrisburg Capital Region, said.

Tonight at a local church that works with Family Promise, the Hernandez family will sleep on air mattresses. Some of those mattresses are so over-used that they constantly deflate, but that doesn't seem to bother Hernandez' kids, who make sure their mom is taken care of.

"Sorry, but Mommy, you're missing dinner. Everyone's taking dinner!" Edwin yelled, interrupting Hernandez's interview with CBS 21. 

"I laugh more, I'm happier," Hernandez said.

You can help Family Promise by donating much-needed items, money, or your time. Call 737-1100 or visit familypromisehcr.org to find out how.Network of shelters help the 'working homeless'


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