A story worth sharing

We are always happy to hear about our clients’ successes and thought you might be too. Amy, a client at the Coalition’s Women’s Residential & Counseling Center (WRCC), had the opportunity to share her powerful story at our 17th Annual Hearts of Gold event in April. We would like to share with you an excerpt from her story:

“…I moved out of my mother’s house when I was 19 and pregnant with my first child. Since that time I have moved around from place to place, never staying in one place for very long. I’ve had really nice apartments, I’ve had not so nice apartments. I’ve had to move back in with family, I’ve lived in hotels, and I have even lived in a RV. It was during that time that I was in a really small RV with my kids and expecting another one that I decided something had to change.

“Seeing this pregnancy as the worst possible thing that could have happened, I began the research of giving the baby up for adoption. I had even narrowed it down to a few families to interview. I had been searching online for all the shelters in the area and found that none are equipped to house a family as large as mine, or they didn’t take pregnant women, or my son was too old. One agency even told me to drop my children off at a children’s shelter, and try to get them back once I was on my feet! I was horrified! I could not believe the lack of compassion these people had for me. It was bad enough that I was admitting defeat and seeking help with giving my kids the very basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, a place to shower, and a bed to sleep in.

I found the Coalition’s WRCC… and one month later what started out as the worst possible thing that could have ever happened became a much anticipated blessing: my son Joshua was born and welcomed into the world with love, acceptance and more importantly, hope.

“With the help of my case manager and the counselors, I was able to see the potential in myself and take the steps to get into college to become a nurse because, let’s face it, one person cannot support a family without some kind of training!

“Now, as I approach the end of my first semester at Valencia, I look back at all the times I…just wanted to talk and my case manager [was there] to lift me up with words of encouragement, congratulate me on my achievements or the achievements of my children, or sometimes just to listen. Some days I didn’t want to hear what they had to say…because it’s too hard and I’m too tired.

“But here I am today, standing before you telling my story. It’s funny; when I was asked to tell my story I was like, me? Why? I don’t have a story worth telling.

“Even after I wrote this, I didn’t think it was good or worth telling…it wasn’t until just now that I see all I have done so far and all the possibilities that stand before me. WRCC has changed my life and my entire way of thinking. While yes, I might have to struggle, [I know] I am worth fighting for. I can’t believe I didn’t see it before. I guess that sometimes you just have to say it out loud.”

Amy is currently attending school to pursue her dream to be a nurse. She hopes to move her family into the Coalition’s Scattered Site Housing Program in the future.

To read the rest of Amy’s story, check out our spring newsletter.