"Resiliency is often seen by others.
Others aren’t seeing the panic attack when getting on to the bus, the uncertainty that overshadows the choice to work without childcare, the exhaustion in asking four kids under 10 to finish their food, nor do they see the number of appointments I have for the 5 of us to ensure all the people in our lives know I am trying my best.
The abuse had finally gotten out of hand, and I left with all four kids knowing one thing was for sure; I was never going back. The five of us entered a safe house where I discovered the cell phone was relying on had in fact been serving as a tracking device for the abuser to follow me. Gone went the phone!
There came a point when I knew I would have the opportunity to get a new phone, allowing me to contact my family, who were states away, to reassure them that my abuser hadn't triumphed over us. Our journey took us from accessing shelter and safe house services in Weld County to seeking refuge in Larimer County, where we continued to utilize the vital support services available to families.
I made use of a range of assistance programs, enabling me to complete my education in the medical field, access local food networks, connect with parenting supports, and build a strong support network for my family. In June 2023, I entered the Sherwood Bridge Housing Program through the Family Housing Network. This move was essential to help us get through the summer with my children before they returned to school and allowed me to resume my work as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA).
The summer was challenging!
Those three months tested every fiber of strength. I had to put effort towards my education, keeping tabs on 4 kids all day every day, and coordinating the necessary things that would set us up for success once they were back in school. September was the first time I felt like I could breathe and take care of myself. The kids had all been approved for before and after-school programs and full-day childcare. We all went to the dentist and doctor. I was able to see my mental health service provider and re-engage in telehealth therapy while they were in school. I had groceries delivered and made dinner every night. I worked with my multiple case managers to increase my knowledge of how I would be able to afford my own place. I was offered a job that would test my patience during this time due to the four weeks it took to have my background check completed due to my previous life in another state.
My voice had not just become mine; it was loud and direct in advocating for my schedule, my resources, and my kids. My exhaustion was not from surviving anymore it was from my perseverance in wanting more for myself and my children.
Others may call me resilient based on what I have shared with them or what they see in a moment, and I say I am empowered to embrace the next chapter of my life where no one will jeopardize the future I have planned for my children and myself.
The greatest gift I plan on receiving this year is celebrating my first Thanksgiving in my new home!"
Your steadfast support has played a vital role in turning stories, like the one shared above, into a reality. The letter, written by a mother who resided at Sherwood and achieved the milestone of moving into permanent housing at the end of November, serves as a powerful testament to the profound impact of your compassion on the lives of families in need.
For this mother, the label of 'short-lived' and 'non-recurring' finally means that her family will experience a home free from violence, where she can care for her children and joyfully celebrate holidays, witnessing the joy that lights up her kids' lives.
As we strive to create more stories like this, we humbly ask for your continued support. Your kindness makes these transformations possible, and with your ongoing generosity, we can bring hope and stability to even more families in need.