Mother Left Homeless After Fleeing Abusive Relationship. Now She Opens Door to Other Women


Je’net Kreitner was what you would call an accomplished young woman. She had talent, which was clear from the fact that she went to college on an opera scholarship.

She also majored in theater and became an actress. But one of her later roles made her delve back into her past, and it dredged up a lot of pain.

She was playing the part of a woman who was homeless and abused, which prompted her to consider her own history of abuse. She had suffered at the hands of those who were supposed to have her best interests at heart: her family.

When she began to open up about her struggles, she lost everything. Her marriage disintegrated. Her family disappeared on her. Her job ended.

All she had was her son and her past, and she tried to outrun the latter.

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“I ended up running away to Salt Lake City, Utah, to open up a heavy metal club with a man I’d met at a music convention,” said Kreitner. “He seemed to understand me when no one else did.”

But that understanding was short-lived, and as victims of previous abuse often do, she found herself once again in a violent and inhospitable situation.

One night, she and her son were kicked out with a few belongings, and found themselves officially on the streets. “That night we slept in a phone booth, the peak of my homeless experience until I finally got help,” she later said.

Fortunately, she didn’t stay there. With the help of many kind people, she eventually found her feet again and realized that she wanted to give others the same help she had received.

She wanted to pay it forward, so she started “Grandma’s House of Hope” as an outreach to the destitute in Orange County.

“Our mission is to empower the invisible,” she said. “I still remember that moment when my husband first saw me. And I want women and men to know that I see them too.”

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She’s been successful, based on the numbers. So far, they’ve served over 2 million meals to families holed up in temporary housing and they’ve gotten more than 10,000 women into better situations.

Fortunately for Kreitner, she’s found a new hope, a new life, a new love, and has turned around and made the lives of those around her better, too.

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