SAN ANTONIO -- Pregnant with her fifth child two years ago, Yvonne Lopez had no idea about the obstacles that would soon appear in front of her.
Complications from the pregnancy forced Lopez to quit her job and remain home.
Her husband, Michael Olivera, was already working two jobs and tried to add a third to make ends meet.
It was an effort in futility.
The house the family of seven was renting was suddenly sold.
Faced with insurmountable debt and not enough money to move in somewhere else, Yvonne found herself with no choice but to ask for help.
SAMMinistries stepped in.
For 30 years the interfaith ministry has helped combat homelessness in San Antonio.
Since 2000, the organization has offered a transitional facility for hundreds of local families trying to get back on their feet.
"They have up to two years to work on their education, to help change their lives. Yvonne is definitely a beneficiary of that," said SAMMinistries President and CEO Navarra Williams.
The ministry houses families, helps them apply for state and federal assistance and lends a hand when it comes time to move into a home.
"They're what you call a family," said Lopez, fighting back tears Christmas morning.
Lopez pursued a peace officer's license the past ten months at San Antonio College.
She said she often stayed up until 1 a.m. to study, then had to wake back up at 5 a.m. to get her children ready for school.
Last week, Lopez passed the exam and officially became a peace officer.
She hopes to soon land her first law enforcement job and said the family is in the final steps of getting a home to call its own.
"I've had sisters on drugs, and no support services. I'll be the first one going down a righteous road," said Lopez.