MONTGOMERY COUNTY — MiMi Ramos, a single mother of three, recently bought her family’s first home in Silver Spring. For the Ramoses, a formerly homeless family, this purchase was an especially meaningful milestone.
“You never know what circumstances come up, you never know what could happen. It could be anybody,” said Ramos as she reflected upon the two years when she and her children were homeless.
Ramos graduated from Montgomery County’s Albert Einstein High in June 2000 with an A average and then started classes at the University of Maryland. Determined to succeed, she said had hoped to get a degree in either business or African American studies.
“I prided myself on being that great student, that kid that had a lot going for herself, I got my own place, my own car, I was doing.. big things,” Ramos said.
Although she never got her degree, she did get a job working with a home improvement company in Wheaton where she was happily employed for seven years. Eventually, the owners of the company retired and the new owner decided the company no longer needed Ramos.
Day after day Ramos searched for jobs but was unsuccessful in finding any full-time work. Over time the bills caught up to her and unable to make any payments the Ramoses were evicted their apartment, left homeless.
“When all of that happened, I just felt like I failed my kids, I failed myself, I failed my parents and I was ashamed. It was like everything I worked so hard to get I lost,” Ramos said.
Pregnant while she was homeless with her daughter Ana, Ramos and her two other children stayed with Ramos’ mother for as long as they could. From there, Montgomery County placed the family in hotels, as part of the county’s commitment to keeping all homeless families with children off the streets. The Ramoses lived in a hotel for two months until there was room for them at Greentree Shelter in Bethesda.
“Without them I don’t know where we’d be, I really don’t,” said Ramos, who has been employed for a year with the Internal Revenue Service.
In May of 2012, MiMi Ramos says she will complete her work for an online bachelors degree in accounting. Her hope is it will help her achieve financial stability so she can continue to provide a home for her family.