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“I was with my children’s father for 13 years. I left one evening with my kids. I was in a hotel for three days, and then I called Harbor House [a domestic violence shelter]. I didn’t have a job. I had no money. I had literally nothing except the car, which broke while I was at Harbor House.

Every day at Harbor House, I was grinding. It was terrifying, particularly when you have kids, because you don’t have a home. I kept thinking, ‘How do I get out of this?’ Because you’re so deep in the hole, but you just have to keep going. ‘I’m going to find a way to make this work regardless.’ That was my mindset. If I didn’t have that mindset, I would be back with my abuser. I just tried to ignore the thoughts like, ‘I’m going to fail.’ Because I cannot fail. I cannot go back.

I got a job. I started the process of child support. I was in the Rapid Rehousing program at Catholic Charities. In that program, the goal is to be self-sufficient. You can’t be in the program forever. You have to take advantage of that opportunity to get yourself in the right place, and I took that seriously. I wasn’t going to go back to my old life. I wanted better for me and my kids. The first month Catholic Charities paid for everything—all move-in costs, the deposit, the first month. I also got food stamps [SNAP].

Shenika always reassured me like, ‘Look how far you’ve come. You can do it!’ She helped set up a plan with me—what I would pay monthly. We went over my budget to determine what I could pay the next month. It was nice knowing I had a safety net, someone to help me… to give me that push. I got to where I could to it on my own. I feel like I graduated!

It was such a blessing. I don’t think there are words for how thankful I am because where I was, was not a good place for me or my kids. You guys helped me give my kids a better life. I can’t say thank you enough. It’s a huge blessing.”

Veronica fled an abusive relationship with only her kids and her car. Shenika, a case manager with our Family Stability Program, was able to help her get back on her feet.