Through a spiritual lens-MOTHER AND CHILD

Maria Gomez bottle-feeds her eight-month-old daughter, also named Maria, in a nursery room at Pawtucket House Family Shelter in Lowell, Massachusetts. She and the child's father, Angel Perez, were forced to leave the apartment they were living in because it didn't have heat or hot water. For some, living in a shelter might seem to be the final step to oblivion. But Maria saw it as an opportunity, a stop along the way. The goal for this Dominican native who, when this photo was taken, was still gaining a command of the English language, was to continue her education at Lowell Adult Education facility in order to achieve her G.E.D. She wanted to eventually become a lawyer. She ended up taking advantage of all the possibilities available to her, which also included parenting classes offered by the shelter.

After several months in the homeless shelter, Angel found a place of their own in an affordable housing unit in Lowell. Although the couple eventually broke up, Maria was continuing her quest to get her G.E.D., a necessary step on her individual road to progress.

Robert harbison Redondo Beach, California

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May 13, 2002

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