Holiday Fund: LifeMoves helps newly single mom find stable housing in time for Christmas - LifeMoves Skip to main content

One year ago, Cristina — a local teacher, mother and survivor — was doing her best to make her temporary home festive for her three young boys. Christmas saw the family staying in a hotel room in Burlingame where they lived for three months. Cristina did her best to prepare her kids’ favorite meals on a hot plate and decorated the room with the few holiday items she could find.

It had not always been this way. A series of milestone events and circumstances contributed to the family’s predicament. Her husband’s addiction, stolen savings, the end of a marriage, and eventually, an unexpected eviction, left this family without a home.

“I never imagined that we’d be homeless,” she said. A life-long San Mateo County resident, born in Redwood City, she always had steady employment and a good education.

Struggling to find her path as a suddenly single mother, she was informed that she earned too much money as a teacher to qualify for a low-income two-bedroom apartment, but landlords were not able to rent a one-bedroom to a family of four. After more than three months in the hotel, she could no longer afford the cost of their stay as her savings had been lost during the breakup of her marriage.

Then, Cristina learned about First Step for Families, the LifeMoves emergency interim housing site in San Mateo. It was there that the family began to move forward with their lives in January 2023.

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