How You Gave Omar's Family A Home
Omar loves his three daughters, Carson, Devin, and Ryan, more than anything in the world. He is determined to give them a chance to succeed. Like most parents, Omar wants his daughters to have a better childhood than he had.
“When I was growing up, it was a tough neighborhood. Before I was even 11 years old, I saw the police raid my house 6 times. My mom wasn’t around very much and I was almost placed into the Foster Care system. There was so much uncertainty all the time. It felt like I was put in a situation where I could only fail.”
But despite all the challenges, Omar did succeed. He buckled down and pursued sports with singular focus, knowing that success in sports could be his ticket to college. It worked.
“I was the first in my family to go to college. I ended up getting a scholarship at a small college in California where I graduated with an Associates, then got a scholarship at a four-year University in Texas, and I graduated with my Bachelors. I was doing it. I was making it.”
When Omar graduated, everything changed. He was picked up by a pro team in Phoenix called the Phoenix Flames and eventually played on teams around the world.
“I was a pro athlete for about 9 years, playing basketball. I was the top player in four countries in South America – but when I retired, the transition to a normal life was hard. I didn’t know all the things I needed to, to manage my money, to remain stable. All I knew was basketball.”
The transition from Omar’s pro career was difficult. After living in Arizona for some time, Omar went through serious hardship after losing his mother and going through a divorce. Eventually, Omar found himself handing the keys to his house over, with nowhere to go.
Omar, his wife, and his three daughters stayed with friends, sleeping on couches and floors – but Omar knew this was not a long-term solution.
“Kids need consistency, and it was really hard on them moving from place to place as we tried to get by. Getting them to school, and making sure they were fed even became difficult.”
“I hit rock bottom, and I had to decide what to do. For myself, for my kids. I knew I had to make it right for them, to show them I would never give up. I knew I had to ask for help.”
Thanks to donors like you, Omar was able to find help A New Leaf’s La Mesita Family Homeless Shelter. He, his wife, and children were immediately placed into a private apartment unit, and given all the basics of a home. His daughters got to school on time, and began to call the shelter their home
“I dealt with challenges like homelessness when I was a kid, and I knew if I didn’t figure this out, it could really impact them. My children are so young, so impressionable. Being here at La Mesita, they are able to focus on school, they behave so much better… they’re happy.”
Without the help of donors like you, children like Carson, Devin, and Ryan would be on the streets. Thanks to you, they have a home.
“I am so thankful for getting this help. I know that having shelter at A New Leaf has protected them from a lot of trauma. I just… words cannot express what that means to me. Thank you.”