SNAP Helps Build a Foundation for Young Woman’s Return to Spokane

Marta married very young and wasn’t able to complete her education. When she moved to South Carolina in 2011 to be close to her two children, she spent time living in shelters until she was able to secure an apartment During this time she found her faith and found her voice through poetry, both of which grounded her as she worked to complete her GED. She worked as a school bus driver, a job she loved since it allowed her to act as a mentor to many children to whom she could relate – she too had gone hungry, she too had been homeless, she too had been a victim of domestic abuse.

Marta decided to move back to Spokane in 2018, but her family couldn’t take her in and she spent last summer living out of her car. While challenging, her time living outside introduced her to many compassionate people – the truck stop that allowed her to shower for free or the fast food place that would offer her extra food made on ‘accident’. When Marta walked into SNAP Homeless Services, she met Rachel, who treated her with dignity and respect. Rachel spoke calmly, which was critical to Marta understanding the options available; Marta finds that while in crisis mode, she had difficulty retaining information. With SNAP’s help, she moved into an apartment in August.

Marta also had to put in her own effort, another part of the process she appreciates, since it made her feel worthy of the safe housing she found.

This January, her struggles continued, and she sold her car to make her rent. SNAP helped with her energy bill and rarely-available rent assistance. Energy supervisor Carmen helped ease her frenzied mind and assured her things would work out. Her family supports her as best they can, but Marta knows that challenges will come and she needs to focus on taking care of herself. She hopes to work again as a bus driver when she is ready, and until then, she wakes up in her tidy apartment filled with gratitude for SNAP, where she believes God directed her in order for her to focus on who she needs to be and what she needs to do.