Erica's Self-Sufficiency Story

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the background

Living in a shelter with no hope

I am so grateful for being able to be in the self-sufficiency program. I was living in a shelter when I went through the program and it was life-changing. I was given education, tools, and mentors to help me get on my feet and live an independent life. Finally, I felt there was hope for me, that I have what it takes to build a life for me and my girls. Before entering the shelter and joining the self-sufficiency program, I had hit rock bottom.

how it all played out

I had to reach my breaking point

It was the lowest point in my life – I had nothing, I had lost everything. I’ve actually lost everything multiple times – my belongings and my home. I even lost my kids to CPS. I’ve lived in the streets. The breaking point for me was getting arrested, going to jail and doing time. While I was there, it was like a light was turned on and I asked myself, what are you doing? Your kids need you. So it was while I was in jail that I made the decision change the sad track I was on. I wanted better for me and my kids. I wanted to be the mom they desperately needed and wanted.

It wasn’t easy. I pushed myself everyday single day to get up, get dressed, look for work. I kept moving even when it felt like nothing was happening because I was determined.

lessons learned

It feels good to feel in control

I’m proud to say that I have three jobs now! I work part time for a caterer where I am learning so much; I work for a social sampling company that supports Stater Brothers and Smart and Final, and I sell “government phones”. Most importantly, I took on full responsibility as a mom. I get my kids ready for school every morning and I am there to pick them up. They’re in girl scouts and dance class. We have a
routine. I even sell cookies in January.

A message to you if you left a domestic violence situation. Please DO NOT go back to your abuser and cut everyone from that life especially if you’ve used drugs or alcohol. Leave all those connections behind. Get a new phone and a new number.

Find new friends. Do what’s best for you and your kids.

Are you a survivor of domestic violence? The Today's Woman Foundation runs a program called "Empowering Women for Self-Sufficiency". This is a life changing 8-week referral-based program for underserved women in the community. The program engages facilitators who are experts in their field (medicine, nutrition, finance, business and management). Contact Us for more information.
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