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  • Writer's pictureChurch@thePark


Meet Kelsey.

Kelsey recently moved from our CCS family shelter in to Sequoia Crossings with her two kids!

Jess, site chaplain at CCS, shared this write-up of Kelsey’s story:

Kelsey and her two kids came to the C@P family site in October of 2023.  She had been staying at another shelter but she was looking for a safer option.  

Kelsey grew up in Salem with her mother and stepfather.  Her childhood experiences left her feeling unsafe and insecure.  She moved frequently, lived with different family members, and attended several of Salem’s high schools.  One positive part of her teenage years was being a part of Ike Box’s “Ike Quest” youth development program.  

When Kelsey was 18, her dad died.  She loved her dad and he was her rock.  Kelsey was devastated by his death and she began using drugs for the first time.  Her drug use lead to more instability and she spent the next 18 months couch surfing at the homes of friends and, sometimes, strangers.  

Kelsey entered a sober living program where she developed some healthy community and regained her sobriety.  After leaving there, the road did not get any easier.  She lived with her mom, was homeless again, entered a youth/young adults housing program, completed her GED, and moved in to her own apartment when she was 21.  

She became pregnant and was in a relationship with the father of her child until that relationship became too tumultuous and she moved in with some people who ended up stealing her car and all of her possessions.  From there she tried living with her mom again, but they were all forced to move when the home was sold.  Kelsey lived in a van for a season until she was able to get connected to a women’s shelter.

Kelsey initially felt a bit intimidated living at the CCS site. She was suddenly living in a big community of people under different rules and regulations. She was also a bit leery that it was a church as she had some bad experiences with church and church programs.  She realized that C@P is a place where you can come as you are and choose what you want to be part of.

Kelsey is social with a fun personality.  She quickly made friends with both the guests and staff.  She has a sharp wit and high social intelligence that draws people to her and she became an integral part of the CCS community.  She appreciated the case management and other wrap around services that got her into housing much faster than she was expecting.  Her kids and her are now living at Sequoia Crossing Apartments.  The nice size rooms and new, well-constructed apartments are a nice surprise.  Kelsey and her children also already know some of their neighbors from their time at C@P — so they have instant community!

Finally, Kelsey and her kids can live in a place they can call home!



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