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The Covering of Community

Nia* is a mother who learned the power of friendship and community during a time in her life when it mattered the most. Nia was in a relationship that seemed promising, however for many of us, time is a great teacher. During the height of the pandemic, Nia was unable to pay her rent, resulting in her and her child needing a place to stay. What seemed to be a caring gesture from her then boyfriend resulted in two years of domestic violence abuse.

“I was being abused in front of my child. I was trying to find a way out until a group of coworkers said, ‘Enough is enough!’ My coworkers used their PTO to help me gather mostly my child’s belongings, provided other essential needs and were by my side when I transitioned into a domestic violence shelter.”

Early during Nia’s stay at the shelter, a caseworker directed her to another worker, who pointed Nia to Life Turning Point.

“One place that was recommended to me I did not qualify for because of the age of my child. The next recommendation was Life Turning Point. Domestic violence shelters only give you 60 days to stay. When Sis. Rita told me I was accepted and gave me my move-in date, it was the same day I was scheduled to move out of the DV shelter.”

Nia is involved in all that Life Turning Point has to offer. She receives not only biblical teaching but mental, emotional, and holistic support as well.

“Life Turning Point gives my family stability. I like that I have my own room with a lock and key, and I feel safe. I also have a counselor and a health coach, and my favorite class is Parenting with Ms. Peggy. My daughter witnessing my abuse was traumatized, and had affected her behavior, so they even got me a personal Parenting Mentor to help me through that. There is so much support here! The staff brought in someone to do haircuts for the children and massages for the moms for Mother’s Day. To experience that was crazy, because I was only here for a month and I was feeling depressed. Everyone was encouraging me to get my hair done to make myself feel great, but I was like, ‘I don’t feel great…I’m homeless.’ People who don’t even know us [residents] donated stuff. My mother and my child’s father did not even give me anything for Mother’s Day.”

As Nia continues to become acclimated to the program regarding weekly classes and chore responsibilities, there is also practical “inner-work” that needs to be done.

“The case manager, Sis. Kelly, brought to my attention that I had a lot of packages coming to the house. I am a shopaholic. As of late, I’ve been buying more than usual since leaving everything behind. The goal, moving forward, is to not spend money unnecessarily; and organizing my life and environment. The accountability, savings program, and room checks help with that.”

Nia has learned, even in hard times, that accepting help from a positive and encouraging community is an opportunity to start a new life.

“The fact that people take time and think about the mothers here is a blessing; like, someone who doesn’t know me thought about me. The classes, going back to church, and the kindness of others is reintroducing me to Christ. People don’t even know us; and yet they help. It makes me believe there is a God. I feel safe and the staff really cares about me; it’s not just a job for them. Since I have been here, I have not been depressed. I am thankful and happy to be here.”

*Nia is a fictitious name to protect the identity of the resident.

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