“To Whom It May Concern”
I came to the Children & Family Center shelter as a victim of domestic violence after years of an abusive marriage. The staff provided shelter to me and my children. They helped me find a job and housing in the community.
The Court Advocate helped me get an Ex Parte Order and later a Full Order of Protection from my abuser. She told me what to expect before we went to court and was there with me through the hearings. It helped me not to be so nervous and afraid to face my husband in court.
The Victim Advocate helped me understand how domestic violence affected me and my children, my rights and encouraged me during my recovery. She facilitated the shelter’s support group WINGS (Women In Need Gaining Support) and connected me to other women going through the same things I did. She gave me information about the services the shelter provides, agencies in our area that help me with many problems, self esteem building material, parenting information, lists of counselors and attorneys to get me through all this. She listened to me, answered my questions, helped me think through my options and come up with solutions to the problems I was facing.
The Support Workers who covered the shelter after office hours and on weekends were kind and supportive. They listened to me for hours and some helped me with life skills of parenting, menu planning, cooking and finances.
The volunteers from the community and the university also helped cover the shelter on weekends and after office hours. They were well trained by the Volunteer Coordinator who was also very, very helpful to me. The volunteers played with my children and helped relieve some of my stress of being a single parent with them.
As a result of the help I received from the staff and volunteers at the Children and Family Center, I now have a safe and happy home for myself and my children. I have a job that I enjoy. I am also drug and alcohol free and am involved in my community helping others with their recovery. I am delighted to have been asked to speak to the volunteers about my experience with the shelter. I feel the help and compassion I received has been life saving and life changing. Life isn’t easy; it’s really scary at times. Children and Family Center was there when I started this journey to looking for a better life and healing and I know they will always be there with the hotline, support groups and willing to listen in a caring, nonjudgmental way. Today my children and I have a future and confidence and peace. Thank you for a caring community so my family can be safe.
A Children and Family Center Survivor