Nathosha's Story


Natosha Woods_P1040960_EDIT - Copy.jpgLife wasn’t always easy for Nathosha growing up in rural Alabama, but at least it was stable and familiar. She was close to siblings, her parents cared about her and she was an honor-roll student at school.

But that all changed when her parents divorced. Her mother moved the family to Milwaukee and remarried. Nathosha felt lost in a new family, new school and new city. “It was hard,” she recalls. “Everyone looked at me different here. I didn’t have many friends. I felt abandoned and angry, and I went from A’s and B’s in school to barely making it.”

After she graduated, Nathosha got her own apartment, but she struggled to make ends meet. Life got even more complicated when she had her first child at 21 and another at 25. When her second child was born, she moved in with the baby’s father, but they struggled from the start.

“He’s got a drinking problem,” she says, “and when he drinks he gets to arguing. We just kept getting into it, until last Valentine’s Day, he said, ‘Get out and don’t come back.’ That’s when I came here to Joy House.

“Joy House gave us food, clothes and shelter. I got closer to God. And they gave me the chance to get my life in order. They gave me the stability I never had since Alabama. I’m learning to stop worrying and put everything in God’s hands.”

She’s especially grateful for the donors who support the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. “I want to give them all a big hug and say thank you,” she says. “Without Joy House, me and my kids could be on a street somewhere. But thanks to the donors, I’ll never have to go through anything like this again.”