“For almost two years my three kids and I didn’t have a place to call home. Colette’s Children’s Home was our third shelter. At this point I felt hopeless and honestly couldn’t see myself getting out of this situation. I lost everything due to domestic violence. I lost my apartment, my furniture, I lost my money, I lost my friends, I lost family members, I lost my self-worth, my self-esteem, I lost my mental health, and I lost myself. Being homeless with my three kids due to domestic violence was a turning point in my life. I knew something had to change within myself if I wanted to live the next day. When I arrived at Colette’s I was struggling with severe depression, anxiety, and PTSD. I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. In my head this was just another shelter. Little did I know it wasn’t just another shelter.
First of all, Colette’s provided my kids and I with a roof over our heads and access to the food pantry was definitely so helpful. I do not receive food stamps, so being able to have access to food and help with groceries was a big help for my kids and I. My kids would get so excited when I would tell them we are going to the food pantry. Second, having the best Case Manager. We would meet often to talk about my personal goals, budgeting, and life. My Case Manager always encouraged me and was always so positive. When she wasn’t on site I would call if I was having a bad day, just to ask for her input. She was always supportive, and I know she loves her job, because of how much she cares for all the moms at the shelter. We basically had the best support system I could ever ask for.
During my stay at the shelter, I went back to college and put all three kids in counseling. Being able to focus on my goals and my kid’s mental health, and my mental health was all possible because of the support system we had. Third, Colette’s helped my kids and I find and apply for a permanent place we can call home. My Case Manager helped me every step of the way. Meaning every single paper that I needed she helped me complete. I had no idea how to do all that paperwork. She told me “Yesica you are a smart woman everything will be fine.” I took a deep breath and continued the process. All these things and more have been part of the solutions to my situation. Colette’s has definitely impacted my life and the life of my kids in such a positive way. They gave us hope, they gave us laughter, and they gave us love.
Looking back and reflecting on where I would be if I hadn’t been at Colette’s, it brings sorrow to my heart. I know it wouldn’t have been a good place. What I mean is, I would probably have been at another shelter, but mentally and emotionally, I would have been in a very dark place. Having the privilege to have been part of this amazing program and community means everything to me. I learned so much about myself. I did a lot of reflecting, a lot of crying, and a lot of healing.
I learned more about parenting and made new friends, that I know will last a lifetime by my side. I feel that it is very important to keep providing services to other women, because Colette’s gives them the tools they need to grow from the inside and out. Because it gives women a sense of belonging and security. This program helps and encourages women out of their comfort zone, whatever that may look like. For me it was building myself up and going back to school. Building my strength and knowing I can do this, I can be self-sufficient and improve the life of my kids and I.
Never underestimate your potential. When you have the right people in your life, you will enlarge your wings and fly high.” – Yesica
Upon completion of our program, Yesica moved into a beautiful new three-bedroom apartment. She was attending college part time and working two jobs. Yesica was amazed as she had never in her life had a bedroom all to herself. Yesica and her children are happy and thriving in their new home, and she is now working and attending college full time working toward a degree in Sociology. She was so grateful to CCH that she chose to complete her college fieldwork internship with CCH as a way of giving back to women like her!