Fleeing in the night with Maddy, Alex seeks help from social services and lands a job with Value Maids, only to find her problems are just beginning.
After a long night on the floor of a ferry terminal with Maddy, Alex finds shelter, but custody issues and an unhappy client push her to the edge.
While navigating the complex government assistance system, Alex wrangles with Sean over Maddy's care and tackles a cleaning job that nearly breaks her.
Cleaning Regina's gorgeous house on Thanksgiving, Alex imagines what it would be like to live in such luxury before taking the fantasy a step further.
A job cleaning out the childhood home of a notorious local thief triggers memories for Alex, who also discovers what's causing Maddy's worrying cough.
Determined to send Maddy to a better preschool, Alex desperately searches for a new place to live, a process complicated by her government benefits.
Alex writes about her clients, including a couple living separate lives, as she juggles her tricky housing situation and Paula's fragile mental state.
Amid a crushing series of setbacks, Alex explores the possibility of college while dealing with Paula's health crisis and offering Regina a helping hand.
Back at square one, Alex reaches out for a safe harbor and legal lifeline, realizing how much of herself she's lost along the way.
Gaining strength and support from a creative writing therapy group, Alex fights for her future by facing off with Sean over custody of Maddy.