Holding on: Kristin & Daimon…

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Kristin holds her son Daimon like a last breath.

Kristin always holds Daimon this way. No matter where they are.

On a median between traffic lanes, a sign asking to wash windows in one arm, Daimon in the other. Tattered towels and spray bottles in a gray plastic bucket by her feet. A safe night’s stay in a hotel is on the line.

Behind a Walmart in Bradenton, with her back against a cold wall, Kristin’s eyes patrol the night as Daimon sleeps in her lap. She refuses to rest. Protecting her 9-year-old autistic son is paramount.

In Sarasota Memorial Hospital, looking through injured eyes, Kristin pulls Daimon close and promises everything will be alright. Christy Sanchez and Jessica Braemer, of Better Together, are there to help. They have a vetted volunteer host family who will care for Daimon while she recovers — until they are reunited.

Outside a Salvation Army shelter, Kristin, recently out of the hospital, sees Daimon and Jessica waiting for her. Carrying all she owns, Kristin runs to Daimon.

Working to flourish:

Once inside the shelter, Jessica helps Kristin register Daimon for school. Project Heart, a Manatee County homeless education effort, can take Daimon to school and back to the shelter.

But shelter spaces aren’t guaranteed.

So, Kristin is hustling to find permanent housing and a full-time job. Better Together is helping with both and is also searching for a family in Manatee County to provide short-term care for Daimon — which will allow Kristin more time to find work and housing.

“Thank you for helping us,” Kristin tells Jessica in the shelter’s hallway. Moved by Kristin’s gratefulness, Jessica holds Kristin like a last breath.

To help Kristin & Daimon, call Better Together at 239-470-2733.

(Moments by @kinfay/hopeful images)

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