17-year-old Akilah Muammad’s journey to homelessness began when she became pregnant at 15. Her mother turned her out of the house, forcing her to scramble to find places to stay temporarily, constantly on the move from place to place. When Akilah found Tumbleweed, she had no permanent address or anywhere she could think of as a stable roof over her head.
Akilah’s story is not an unusual one for Tumbleweed moms, though each has a unique life experience. With the assistance of Tumbleweed’s counseling and services staff, she is now sharing an apartment at a Tumbleweed housing facility. Tumbleweed staff are helping Akilah care for 2-year-old Skai as she completes high school and begins planning for classes at Mesa Community College. She hopes to be living independently in her own apartment soon.
For now, she appreciates the supportive atmosphere at Tumbleweed, where onsite staff also help her manage high school classes and her job.
“This kind of transition to young adulthood is hard for anyone, let alone a single mother,” says Assistant Housing Director Cheryl Moore. “For young moms who are also homeless and without a supportive family, the burden can seem too heavy and the obstacles insurmountable. We can give them the practical and emotional support they need to adjust and grow. It’s what we are all about.”