This story is part of HuffPost Impact’s 12 Days, 12 Cities, 12 Families series, highlighting Americans who have persevered to overcome incredible challenges and the nonprofits that helped change their lives. Check back tomorrow for the continuation of this series.
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Andrena Seals, a single mother of four, is trying to stay optimistic despite the fact that her family may be homeless again in less than a month. Optimism has been Seals’ armor against the homelessness and joblessness she’s faced since she was laid off as a property manager in June.
She never imagined finding herself in this situation. After divorcing her husband several years ago, the former competitive body builder moved her kids into an apartment building in Hawthorne, Calif. that she managed for a property company. She had a salary and an apartment and was looking forward to expanding her career as a massage therapist, when everything got turned upside down.
The building Seals managed, which changed hands every few years, was sold to a new company who didn’t need her to oversee it. With some scrambling over the next year, she was able to manage some other properties and move her family in with her sister. Then, on June 1 of this year, her management contract ended and the 49-year-old found herself homeless and jobless.
“Shortly after that, I went to the Salvation Army,” Seals describes. “They’re like a 911, they take you in immediately. I had not had enough money saved — my family members lived in Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles. I had not made any longevity preparation and I was only receiving child support.”