Sometimes, most times, when we post it is about the statistics. The negative. The need. With much consideration we have decided to share the other side, we become so protective of our clients that we keep the good all to ourselves. We talk about their past, what they escaped from but we fail to mention who they went on to be. Moving forward we are going to share not only the bad but the good. We want our community to know that when they support us, this is what they are supporting, that transition from the past to the future, so here is a recent tale of victory.
L 26 years old arrived at the shelter from a neighboring state pregnant with her 3rd child, her abuser in jail, and infant child in DHS custody. L’s oldest child whom she has visitation privileges is preschool age and in the custody of her child’s father.
L admitted to struggling with substance abuse for many years. She was determined to beat her addiction and regain custody of her child. Additionally, L had her own legal issues which needed to be resolved.
L was provided shelter, nutrition, clothing, case management and on-site support groups for domestic violence, life skills, and art therapy.
When staff at the shelter began working with L she was at a very low point she lacked confidence in her ability to stay clean. L was emotional and on one occasion she reached out to staff about her concerns, she stated through teary eyes she felt alone, had no family to lean on and was not sure she could “do it”. L was overwhelmed with the tasks involved in meeting the demands of DHS, her legal issues, and addiction. L was immediately supported by on-site volunteer intervention.
Through case management services L received many referrals for housing assistance, local recovery support groups and employment resources. Within a week L was employed. She left that position for what she felt was a better job. L began attending a local recovery support group where she received a recovery sponsor. L began working with a DHS caseworker worker and complying with the agencies request to regain custody of her infant child.
Staff continuously checked in with L, encouraging her, helping her stay on course. After about 3 ½ weeks staff began noticing dramatic changes in L. She was smiling, had a twinkle in her eye and spoke with anticipated hopefulness. The shelter Director recalls one moment in particular when L showed her an art project she completed in Art Therapy group. L was so proud of the painting she completed and hoped to hang in on the wall of her new apartment one day soon. L’s excitement with her accomplishments was infectious within the shelter encouraging staff and residents alike. L even began speaking about going back to school to get her degree so she could help others in similar circumstances.
L was able to successfully complete the shelter’s program, DHS requirements and the court’s requirements regard to her own legal issues. Through it all, L located and maintained employment and found housing. She was able to save money for deposit and rent, she accessed local resources for financial support for utilities.
L received support from an agency which helped with furniture and home goods. On the last day at the shelter, she maintained a smile so big anyone who saw her could not help but to smile back. L expressed she was so thankful for all the support and encouragement she received. Her last words were “this is the first time in my life I have ever accomplished so much on my own”. When asked how she felt, she stated “GREAT”.
We can’t wait to share more with you until then, thank you for being there for us.