Homelessness is the result of a complex set of circumstances. With limited dollars, families must ultimately make difficult decisions. Food? Shelter? Medicine?

A family experiencing homelessness is often coping with complicated circumstances, limiting barriers and painful decisions in multiple areas of life. As a result, these families experience scenarios families above the poverty level manage to escape.

Poor families not only struggle to survive on declining wages, there’s a lack of affordable rental housing. Add a loss of employment or illness to the equation and the stakes worsen considerably. Some families are ensnared by poverty from one generation to the next. Achieving a life beyond the grasp of generational poverty can mean a family must leave the only life they’ve ever known — including generations of family — behind.

Homelessness persists if families can’t access support and stability, learn critical life skills, and draw inspiration from families who are facing the same struggles. The odds are too highly stacked. But for the families of St. Lawrence Place, there’s often success. Not only do they achieve independence, they move on successfully, together.