June 13, 2023

Friends - Chicago: Tamika's Story of Stability and Success

How our 2Gen Approach transformed Tamika's life and empowered her family to build a brighter future.

Friends of the Children - Chicago’s 2Gen approach is vital to a child’s ability to be successful in school. Tamika’s story highlights how our relentless engagement supports and bolsters families’ ability to build a better future.

Fourth grader “Tamika” is attending school regularly for the first time in her life. She was referred to Friends - Chicago because she missed more than half of kindergarten. Her mother Tarsha loves Tamika dearly, but her experience of chronic depression is at times overwhelming and interferes with her ability to prioritize Tamika’s education. They have also faced housing insecurity throughout the pandemic.  

When in-person school started up again, Tamika’s school couldn’t provide transportation and her mother was unable to leave the house because of her health. Eventually, they were evicted from their apartment.  

Friends - Chicago helped Tamika and Tarsha access stability by helping them move into a homeless shelter and then into a new apartment. We took them to register at a new school and, with support from Tamika’s Mentor and our Family & Community Engagement Specialists, Tamika is finally going to school consistently. And Tarsha has access to a supportive community and resources that help her manage her health and care for Tamika, supports that can protect and benefit Tarsha and Tamika over the long term.