CWS Shelter: A new beginning for Liudmila and her family

Susy Tejeda | February 2024

Liudmila is the one who tells this story filled with challenges but with fervent wishes for prosperity and a better future for her family.
Scarcity and difficulties in Cuba became an unbearable burden for Liudmila and her family. Every day was a struggle to obtain the basics, and the future of her daughter seemed increasingly uncertain. It was then that they made the difficult decision to leave behind years of work and their loved ones in search of a dignified life and opportunities for their little one.

The journey was arduous and filled with uncertainty. However, for Liudmila, the thought of arriving at a place where they could have new opportunities for her family filled her with hope and determination. When they arrived at Church World Service in Jersey City, Liudmila recounts that they were warmly welcomed. Immediately, processes were initiated to provide them with the support they so desperately needed. During that time, their housing was at the home of a godchild, where they were stable.
However, things suddenly became difficult when, due to space issues and the arrival of more people at that home, they could no longer continue living there. The CWS housing team became aware of their situation and immediately acted to offer them a solution and prevent them from ending up on the streets. The housing team provided them with two rooms in the shelter, where they would have access to a kitchen, living room, bathroom, hot water, and, most importantly, a safe space for the family.
In Liudmila’s words, this space in the shelter became their dream home. “It was the promise of a new beginning, the opportunity to build a better future for my family”, she says. The feeling of relief and gratitude they experienced upon arriving at the shelter cannot be described in words. For them, it was like a ray of light in the darkness. Having a secure roof over their heads, seeing their daughter enjoy her own room, and having a room of their own was incredible, filling them with joy and hope.

As they overcome the challenges that may arise in this new beginning, Liudmila shares that their greatest dream as a family is to have a stable job, a permanent home, and to see their daughter achieve her dreams of studying medicine. They dream of living together as a family and being able to help their loved ones in Cuba. Despite the challenges, Liudmila and her family are determined to fight for a better and more prosperous future, confident that each step they take brings them closer to their dreams.