Val entered shelter with her five year old son. Val’s main goal was to relocate away from her abuser and his large extended family. During her first month in shelter, Val applied for W-2 assistance, enrolled her son in after school care, and found a faith community she became strongly involved with. Within five weeks, Val was working two part-time jobs and started searching for an apartment. She was able to find a two bedroom apartment within her budget, however, Advocates needed to pay her security deposit in order for her to afford the apartment. Advocates has a small fund to use for this purpose and many times it has been the difference between the women returning to their abusers or moving into their own place. Val’s faith community assisted her with her move and Advocates connected her to the Family Sharing store for furniture and food pantry if she needed food assistance. After just eight weeks in shelter, Val had moved into her own apartment, was working, volunteering at her son’s school, engaged in a faith community, and became part of a new community.
Val has been able to continue to make progress in part because she also chose to live in a small, walkable community. Without transportation of her own, Val must use a taxi to get to and from work but her son’s school and daycare are walking distance from her home, as are the local market and town center. She continues to attend group, and her son continues to attend children’s group to deal with the trauma he sustained during her relationship. Her son has begun to come out of his shell and has actually started helping with new children entering the program. Val has reported to us that her son’s bedwetting and nightmares are almost gone and that he is doing very well in school.