A recently empty two-bedroom house in Sacramento became a home this holiday season for single mother Blairmarie Martin and her three sons, Zayvion, Isaisia and Josiah.
For the first time since coming out of their two-year battle with homelessness, Martin, 24, and her sons have a roof over their heads this Christmas season. And as an added bonus, they also have a Christmas tree, new furnishings and gifts to unwrap, thanks to support from Roseville-based nonprofit My Mother’s Voice.
Each family member also received their own beds and bedding, purchased through donations by Book of Dreams readers.
For the boys, who previously slept in dinosaur-printed sleeping bags on the floor, having their own beds to climb into at night will mean a more sound, comfortable night’s sleep for her family, Martin said.
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“For most people, assembling a house is just an ordinary task,” said Donja Garvey, My Mother’s Voice CEO, who works closely with the family. “For (Blairmarie), it’s something she can’t even fully understand. It’s still a part of the dream.”
In July, after two years of living out of motels and shelters, Martin decided to contact Child Protective Services in hopes of providing her children a better life. Despite holding a position at a local pharmaceutical distribution company, she realized she could not adequately provide for her family. Days later, she was contacted by Garvey, who promised to connect Martin to services and find the family a home.
“I knew the holidays were coming up,” she said. “I just wanted a home for my kids and I was so scared that wouldn’t happen, but I am so grateful for My Mother’s Voice for giving us that."
“It just feels really good to have my family back together and not having to worry about how we’re going to pay for another night to stay somewhere.”
Martin is most looking forward to preparing a home-cooked holiday meal and watching her children open gifts this Christmas, she said. Last year, she was unable to afford gifts to her sons, as all of her income went to paying for motel stays. This is the first year the entire family will be together during the holidays.
“Now that we have a home, we will be able to do the traditional holidays we missed before,” she said. “We were always thankful just to be in a motel – but to have a home, a Christmas tree, presents, a bed … it has really brought our spirits up.”