Two women are on the same path in life looking for a way out and a new lease on life.
One who moved to Texas from Tennessee and the other ran away from domestic violence in Houston. She's concealing her identity from her ex and that's why we're calling her Ashley.
She says, "I don't want them to know where I am or who I am."
Katrina Jackson says she and Ashley ended up at the Star of Hope for Women and Family Center in downtown Houston.
Jackson says, "I came straight from Memphis left my job and everything straight to the Star of Hope I Googled the star of hope and it gave me a picture of this wonderful facility."
But Katrina says that's not what they experienced once they arrived at the place designed as a haven for homeless families.
Ashley provided photos showing her child was bitten by a spider and bed bugs. She says that's their number one concern at the shelter - an infestation.
"They say the bed bugs are so bad they can't sleep at night the children lie awake crying all night long because they get ate up," says Jackson.
Then there's the question about the quality of food at the Star of Hope. The women say in a facility where they have no access to televisions or computers they expect at least a good meal. However, the residents say in some instances they get expired and spoiled food.
Ashley says, "when I first got there and I saw the food I started crying because I said I never thought this would be my life being here."
We checked with the city of Houston's Health Department and found the shelter has been cited several times over the past several years. The violations range from failure to maintain a clean environment in the cooking area to failure to minimize rodents and bugs.
Vivian Camacho with the Star of Hope declined to go on camera. She said in a facility where transients are allowed in you could expect bed bugs. Camacho says there is a process they have in place that will address pest issues once it's brought to the attention of the staff. As for spoiled food, Camacho says she has no knowledge of that issue