Moving from Homelessness to Registered Nurse in the Quad Cities

Katie and son at graduation

This May–always a month of graduations–marks an important turning point in the life of a young woman who has battled to success despite her family’s homelessness. Her nursing career has taken a leap to the next level as she moves from homelessness to registered nurse. And, HMHI supporters played an important role in this success story.

Katie resides in one of the eight units of HMHI’s Permanent Supportive Housing program. When she came to us, she was pregnant. When speaking of those days, she remembers having “nowhere to go. I moved into my apartment two weeks shy of giving birth to my son, Keltin. While I was in the hospital, I promised my newborn that someday I would be able to provide for him.”

While in our program, Katie maintained steady employment. At the same time, she continuously furthered her education. While juggling work and school, Katie also accepted the challenges of raising her son as a single mother.

Katie was accepted into the Scott Community College nursing program in 2015. Money was really tight for her. But, she earned herself a PELL Grant. She scraped together the funding she needed to apply, pay tuition and purchase books for the program. However, just a month before her courses of study were to begin, she received a long list of medical equipment and specific supplies that the program required.

The cost of materials she needed to begin classes totaled $650. Katie didn’t have that amount of money in reserve. With help from family and friends, she pieced together much of this unexpected extra funding needed at the last minute. But, she couldn’t raise it all. What she could access wasn’t going to be enough.

mission accomplished
HMHI’s plea for help inspired supporters to come forward. Their contributions made Katie’s success a possibility. [Image from 2015 HMHI website archive]
So, HMHI turned to our supporters using the Internet and social media, publishing a plea for help. Supporters donated toward Katie’s nursing fund–without knowing Katie or even much about her personal situation. They simply helped a stranger from the generosity of their hearts. Within days, Katie was bound for her courses–fully supplied.

Katie has worked very hard to complete the nursing program–all while continuing to work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA). Katie recently graduated from Scott Community College’s Nursing program with her Registered Nurse (RN) degree. Her service coordinator, Lauren Gustafson, was on hand to watch Katie receive her nursing pin.

Katie will take her board examinations in the fall. She intends to seek out employment as a Registered Nurse. But she’s not finished yet! While working as an RN, Katie plans on on continuing her education. She has her sights set on achieving her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree. 

Katie kept her promise to her son. Equipped with this nursing degree, their future looks bright. She thanks HMHI’s program, staff and supporters:

Without this program, I can only imagine where I would be right now.  It was by the grace of God and true dedication that I am where I am today.  And I could never be here if it wasn’t for this program. God bless you all!

HMHI Program Director Sandy Dimmer almost bursts with pride as she recalls this participant’s trajectory of achievement: “Katie has worked so hard since she has been with us. I am so proud of her!”

RN graduates
Katie and her son have earned a success to celebrate.

3 Replies to “Moving from Homelessness to Registered Nurse in the Quad Cities”

  1. I am so very proud to call this young woman my niece, she has worked very hard to provide for her son and to achieve her goals. I wish her all the love and luck in the world to meet any and all goals that she sets her mind to in the future.

  2. What an accomplishment, Katie. You are quite a testimonial for so many other single parents struggling with homelessness..

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