Pursuit of Happiness

Pursuit of Happiness

From Jenna Gray

Three years of adversity: cramped motels, endless work, and dashed dreams. Eviction looms, but hope persists. Seeking stability, employment, and a chance to rebuild.

Support this campaign

Subscribe to follow campaign updates!

More Info

Three years ago, my small family and I found ourselves in the clutches of adversity, forcing us to spend our days in a cramped motel room. Our financial situation was dire, with the motel costing us a staggering $1,640 per month, a sum we could barely scrape together. I shouldered the burden of being the sole breadwinner, juggling my job and working endless hours of overtime. To make ends meet, I even took on a gig as a DoorDash driver during my precious spare moments. The relentless pursuit of financial stability exacted a toll on my health; I was constantly sleep-deprived, my heart racing erratically during moments of rest.

After enduring this grueling routine for two months, I realized I couldn't persist any longer. My body rebelled against the strain, and saving money for a new home seemed like an insurmountable challenge. Desperate, I resorted to every available means, pulling out loans to gather enough funds for a deposit. I devoted every waking moment to scouring listings for available apartments, even lowering our standards to settle for a one-bedroom despite our family's clear need for more space due to our child. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, a glimmer of hope emerged when a suitable apartment became available. With determination in my eyes, I rushed to the management office, clutching my application, narrowly beating another hopeful tenant to secure our sanctuary.

The initial joy of moving into our new apartment was short-lived. Less than three years later, the same apartment complex served us an eviction notice, citing minor delays in rent payments, even though we always paid in full by the end of the month, albeit a few days late. They granted us a mere four months to find a new place, a seemingly impossible task given my financial struggles and tarnished credit history. I scoured listings far and wide, even considering relocating out of state due to our home state's exorbitant cost of living. Miraculously, with just one week left before our eviction deadline, I found a new place that not only offered a better living situation but also included a dedicated office space – a luxury we had never known. I managed to secure the residence by depleting every available resource, signing away my future with a hefty double deposit.

Embracing this fresh start, I set my sights on pursuing my dream job as a remote graphic designer, hoping to spend more time with my son who had sorely missed my presence. Fueled by determination, I researched high-paying jobs aligned with my aspirations, honed my skills in the requisite software, and built an impressive portfolio. I eagerly shared my work online, envisioning a path out of poverty. Little did I know, that what appeared to be a guiding light was, in fact, an oncoming train.

My discontent with my current job, where I cared for disabled adults in a group home, grew to unbearable levels. The job demands had changed, requiring me to perform arduous labor and endure the chaos of violent neighbors that spilled into my workplace. My pleas to alter my shift fell on deaf ears, despite the detrimental impact on my mental health due to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of the clients, manipulative and violent, posed a constant threat, yet no safety measures were implemented. Despite my dedicated service for six years, my employer denied me a raise, leaving me with a meager $17 an hour that barely covered our basic needs.

Then, a glimmer of hope emerged when I received a job offer from Johnson & Johnson via Indeed. A remote graphic design position, paying $25 an hour during training and $50 afterward, seemed like the breakthrough I needed. Sensing the impending termination from my current job due to attendance issues, I seized the opportunity and resigned before the inevitable dismissal. Excitement bubbled within me as I prepared for the interview, but to my dismay, it turned out to be a text-based scam, shattering my dreams in an instant. The crushing realization hit me like a punch to the gut – all my hard work, perseverance, and dreams were slipping away once again, leaving me on the precipice of despair.

I find myself in a frantic race to secure any form of employment, far from the dream job I had been ardently pursuing. The pressing needs of putting food on the table, covering rent, and managing our monthly bills have taken center stage in our lives. Every ounce of assistance, no matter how small, is invaluable to us during this precarious period, as we strive to regain our footing and attain the stability we so desperately need.

Campaign Wall

Join the Conversation

Sign in with your Facebook account or