We hope to have your support on this international day of giving so we can continue to help people like Jessica.*
Jessica was a survivor of domestic violence. When her abuser was released from jail, she fled her home with her two children so he could not find them. Without means for a traditional move, her family was relegated to the floors and couches of various friends and family. When picking up her child from VOA’s Children’s Center, an employee suggested she talk to the staff at the VOA Guest House Emergency Family Shelter. Although Jessica was wary of shelters, “I had stayed in other shelters before and it always made me feel like less of a person when I was there,” she said, but she knew she needed help to find a safe home for her family so she decided to give VOA’s Guest House a try.
During her stay, case managers helped Jessica find permanent housing. VOA helped her to negotiate a reduced rent and provided her with a security deposit so she could make a move immediately. “VOA gave me power and helped me move forward with my life,” Jessica says.
Now Jessica has a home, a job, and childcare for her 4 year old son thanks to VOA programs. She stresses the importance of following the VOA mission of self-reliance to improve a difficult situation. “You have to help yourself first. You can’t improve things for your child until you can help yourself. Volunteers of America was there for me so I could be there for my children.”
*Name changed for privacy and safety.