Everyone deserves a second chance and that’s the story that Cyrinana has to tell! She arrived at Saint John’s with her three children in April of 2019 after being evicted from her home and struggling with chronic poverty. As a single mom, she was desperate to find a safe place for her kids, and that place was Saint John’s. The structure here was just what she needed and she was all in! It was a delight for her to wake up, make her bed and put clean clothes on her kids every day. Unfortunately, circumstances lead to an earlier than anticipated departure in September of 2019.
She describes this space as her “in between” time and found herself living in her car or motels for months. During this stretch she had another child, almost lost her kids to CPS, lived in a transitional house and had a fifth child. Of course by this time, we were in the middle of a pandemic and Cyrinana found herself in an ongoing cycle of having a job and then being unemployed with no real place to call her own. In the middle of all of the chaos she was now experiencing, Cyrinana remembered the structure and discipline of Saint John’s and once again walked through the Red Doors in June of 2022, this time with five children in tow. “I was so happy to be back,” she reflected. “I was welcomed and really felt a sense of belonging. I had a purpose and hope!”
This time, Cyrinana is thriving, having just completed our Employment Program and is busily working on her high school diploma at Highlands Charter School. She admits that sometimes school is hard as she struggles with dyslexia, but she is very determined. She recently proved her persistence as she passed her driver’s license on the 4th try! She is an incredible friend and encourager to other women at Saint John’s. She has a positive spirit and smile that lights up a room. She’s a team player and is always ready with a kind word to her Saint John’s sisters.
When asked where she’s seen the greatest transformation in herself, she didn’t hesitate to say, “I have great courage now! I want to be a good parent to my kids and move forward in a positive way.” She’s also quick to say, “Saint John’s has been a positive experience for my children as well. They are thriving here and in school.” Her oldest son recently received an award at the STEM school he attends and by her own admission, she was one proud mama!