At the moment, Shepherd's Cove Women's Shelter in Capitol Heights, Md. is the place Artina Mcrae and her family calls home. She worked security for 10 years. When the company folded, she lost her job and ended up in a shelter with her five kids.
"Our first night here, my five-year-old wanted to go home," says Mcrae. "He was like, 'Why? Did somebody steal our apartment?' And that hurt because I felt like I failed my kids."
Six months have passed. The kids have adjusted to sleeping dormitory-style.
They received a visit Tuesday from actor Jermaine Crawford. He grew up in Bowie. He presented Mcrae's family with tickets to an inaugural ball.
Crawford played a homeless teen on the hit HBO show "The Wire." He researched the role by talking with homeless kids.
"I started to say to myself, 'These kids are just like me. They're just like me,"' says Crawford.
That is why he started a non-profit called Code Blue. They are organizing the H.O.P.E. Inaugural Youth Ball. It will take place Sunday at Howard Theater. They are raising money to open an emergency shelter for homeless teens. The first in Prince George's County.
Mcrae is working part-time and has applied for 100 full-time jobs. She has saved enough money to pay the security deposit for an apartment. She hopes to move her family out of the shelter soon. But she says she will be back - not as a resident - but as a volunteer or employee.
"Just like they gave to me, I want to give to them," she says.