Lantern Organization

Advancing the Independence and Well-being of Families and Individuals Impacted by Homelessness

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News and Stories

E from Cedars/ Fox Hall

For many families, moving into Cedar/Fox Hall represents the end of a long journey fraught with instability and difficulty. E's family is one such family.  With her husband and two children E moved to NYC from the Dominican Republic shortly after both of her parents were killed in a car accident.  Although she didn't realize it, she was struggling with depression.  After her husband was involved in a disabling accident and lost his job, the family became homeless. As a result, the family lived in a shelter for 2 years, and E's depression worsened.

Three years ago, E and her family moved into a home of their own in Cedar/Fox Hall. But E's depression persisted, causing her to become increasingly isolated.  Both she and her husband rarely interacted with other people, although E maintained a strong connection to her case manager.

When the Cedars' staff was planning to relocate their offices into new space in the building, they thought about reaching out to E, whose apartment was beautifully designed and maintained.  Cedars staff asked E if she would be interested in helping design the space. E was delighted and revealed that she had earned a degree in Architecture in the Dominican Republic. E devoted herself to the project, and as she worked a new side of E began to emerge, characterized by her passion for the work and growing sense of self worth. E made detailed professional sketches of a furnished office layout (pictured above). Thanks to E, Cedar's staff and tenants now have beautiful new offices.  Shortly thereafter, E approached staff to inquire about possible design/architectural internships. E applied and was awarded a paid internship beginning in September with an architectural firm that she hopes is the first step toward a new career.