|Every day I hear from staff about families that are healing from horrible experiences and learning about healthy relationships. Laura and her children are one of those brave families. They are safe and sound in their very own apartment now. Last August, Laura and her four children, India (age 9), Eddie (age 7), Darrel (age 3) and Billy (age 1), found themselves living in their aunt’s small house with their mother as she called various shelters to find a place where they could be safe from their abusive father. The
|family did not have a car and had not left the home for days for fear of encountering their father. Eventually, their mother discovered the YWCA and spoke with a Crisis Counselor at the YWCA Weaver Domestic Violence Center. A safe taxi was sent to bring them to the shelter.
Upon entering the shelter they met several staff who encouraged them to speak about what they had seen and experienced. India and Eddie met with a case manager and attended a children’s support group in which they heard other children tell stories similar to their own. Darrel and Billy found caring hands waiting for them in the childcare room while Laura tended to her own emotional needs in the adult support groups. While in the program, they also received the assistance of free family therapy provided through a partnership with The Exchange Club. After having stayed hidden in their aunt's home for some time, the children enjoyed the hallways, playground and other children their age at the shelter. While in shelter, their mother learned about the chance to have a new home of their own.
In November, Laura and the children said goodbye to the shelter. Laura had selected an apartment with the help of counselors in our YWCA Transitional Housing program. Laura reported that the children were excited to have their own rooms but they were all thrilled when Re-New at the YWCA redecorated each of their rooms, adding new furniture and accessories for Laura and each child. The YWCA Transitional Housing Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, provides a rent and utility stipend as well as other supports for some of the families leaving the Weaver Domestic Violence Center. The program, which lasts one year, helps the women and their families become self-sufficient in the community as they heal from the abuse that they have endured.
Thanks to all of you who help make this vital work possible.
~ Pat Shea