06/10/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

A Mother's Day Message that Touched my Heart

A special friend who works with me at HELP USA wrote this inspiring message for Mother's Day. It touched my heart and I would like to share it.

A Mother's Wish

Many of the Mother's Day Cards mailed this year will be posted, "return to sender" this year, due to the thousands of mothers and children who have lost their homes and are living in homeless shelters. In my current job as a social worker, I witness the hopelessness of women, who are homeless, many of whom are mothers, who have lost control of their home security and in many cases - their children's. I recognize their pain and frustration because I, myself, was once in the same place.

Twenty years ago, I needed support through a devastating time when I had lost control of almost every aspect of my life. I was forced to enter the emergency NYC homeless system with my daughter, son and mother due to a chain of devastating events including a home fire and substance abuse addiction. It was the lowest point in my life. I did not know if I would be able to take care of my kids.

Fortunately, I was referred to HELP USA, a homeless nonprofit organization, and moved into a beautiful new apartment with a park and a playground. My children were enrolled in on-site day care and I was able to work with professional staff on regaining sobriety and self-sufficiency in order to care for my children. I worked hard to become a positive role model and continue my education, earning an MSW from Fordham University.

Today, my daughter is a college student looking for summer employment. (Anyone hiring?)
I feel blessed to now be working to help women who are suffering through the desperate experience of losing their homes, an employee of HElP USA, the organization that helped me rebuild my life as an individual and as a mother.

On this Mother's Day, I say a word of thanks for the public and private investment in programs that support women and children who slip through the safety net. I am living proof that good programs can help people turn their lives around.

I thank all the women who are being helped and for all those helping others.

And I give personal thanks to an organization that truly lives up to its name, HELP USA.

-- Josephine Mitchell, Mother and Social Worker