Briana

Working Toward Independence
Evelyn's House
brianafamily2

After giving birth to her son Luis, Briana was facing pressures at home.

She was still in high school, and was struggling to create the life she wanted for her baby boy. A close friend of hers knew another young mother who lived at Evelyn’s House and, after visiting the home and meeting the other women and children living there, she decided to join us.

This was Briana’s first time living and parenting on her own. Initially shy and reserved, it wasn’t long before Briana began to create deep connections. She sought advice from her peers and from ICAN staff, especially on parenting techniques. Luis has always been mature for his age and quickly adapted to his new home, but this was the first time Briana was entirely responsible for him. She remembers the first time she had to discipline him on her own:

“Before, I always had my mom there, but now I was in charge. He’d throw tantrums and I wouldn’t know what to do, but we made a timeout spot for him and now that it’s a routine, his behavior is a lot better.”

After living at Evelyn’s House for 1 month, Briana was invited to live with her son’s father and his family. Wanting Luis to be closer to his father, Briana moved out, but being in a full house placed pressure on her relationship with Luis’ dad. She said, “When we argued, the family would be in it. It was bad around Luis and his little cousins. It got physical and I didn’t know what to do in that moment. I was stuck again and I picked up the phone and called Evelyn’s House. They offered me the chance to come back.”

Upon returning to Evelyn’s House, Briana was pregnant with her second son—A’Shaad—and dedicated herself to becoming independent. Aligned with Wraparound principles, Briana’s team supported her in setting ambitious personal and professional development goals. She strengthened existing connections to community-based services and natural supports, identified new opportunities for childcare, and began working more at a local nursing home to build her savings. Now, Briana is prepared to move into her first apartment with her two boys and has the knowledge, skills, and connections to thrive.