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Meet Dayna: YMCA Supportive Housing Resident


After the devastating loss of her husband of 17 years to complications from diabetes, Dayna found herself alone in life, without resources and living in motels and group homes for several years. Then, in 2018, Dayna was welcomed into the YSHC community and offered the gift of a stable home environment.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, Dayna’s life path led her to Des Moines at a young age when her parents moved their family of five to Iowa when she was just two years old. She has remained close to her parents in Des Moines her entire life, but sadly, recently lost her mother due to Covid. Dayna’s two siblings live out of state, which she says creates a difficult barrier to staying close and in touch, but Dayna still finds joy in developing meaningful positive relationships with friends and neighbors.

Back in 2018, when Dayna joined the YHSC community for the first time, Dayna says she formed strong connections with her neighbors and greatly enjoyed the stability of having her own apartment, which was a life experience she had never known before. However, she missed living with close family, and when presented with the opportunity to live with a relative at a women’s group home, she decided to pursue this arrangement. However, shortly after moving into the group home, the facility closed its doors permanently, once again forcing Dayna into homelessness. Finding herself in this impossible situation yet again, Dayna eventually located a place to live at a safehouse for women, but she could not afford to stay long due to the high rental costs. During this difficult time, she made the important decision to return to YSHC, but no availability led to her being put on the community’s waitlist. After a year and a half of waiting, Dayna received the positive news that her new YSHC home was available. Not only ecstatic to have her own apartment again, Dayna also was thrilled to see the familiar and friendly faces of her neighbors that she had known from her first time living at YSHC .

Dayna says she is very grateful for her YSHC community and enjoys always having someone to socialize with. She is friendly with all of her neighbors and will extend a “How are you?” or a “Nice to see you” to everyone. She is also a great cook! Her favorite things to make are steak, pork chops and green bean casserole. From time to time, she and other residents will cook for one another and share meals that they prepare. Dayna aspires to one day extend her love of hospitality to others by owning or renting her own home with a backyard where she can grill , relax and invite friends over to socialize. Until then, Dayna embraces YSHC as her treasured home -- a place where she knows she may live safely and have confidence that she always has somewhere to go, surrounded by people who care about her.

Posted on Tue, 12/28/2021 - 11:34
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