Mary was at her wit’s end and didn’t know where to turn. She finally got up the courage to call a number her neighbor had told her about: 211.
During the call, Mary identified she was a victim of intimate partner violence. That resulted in an immediate referral to Crisis Services of North AL, a partner of United Way, to create a safety plan.
She soon found herself out of that dangerous situation and at Hope Place, a shelter for someone just like her. Mary left everything but likely saved her life and that of her unborn child. She also brought along her 12-year-old daughter.
Meeting Mary Where She Was with Critical Services
Within one hour of her escape, Crisis Services met with the Huntsville Police Department at her house to help her recover her vehicle. Almost out of gas, she drove her car to the nearest gas station and put her last three dollars in the tank.
Before the end of the week, Mary had a job and made childcare arrangements with Heart of the Valley YMCA, another United Way partner. While staying in the shelter, she paid off past eviction fees so she would be eligible for housing.
Removing Obstacles to Secure Housing
There was one other obstacle in her way on the path toward housing—a pending charge for possession. She did everything she could to illustrate her changed situation. Finally, she had a conference call interview and knocked it out of the park!
She and her daughter were approved for housing about a week later.
Her Story Didn’t End There
Mary knew she could do better. She enrolled in the Christian Women’s Job Corps, completed the program, and is still active as an alumnus. She had her baby while in the shelter, working full or part-time until a week before he was born. She moved into housing very shortly following his birth.
Today, she is working, maintaining her housing, and attending Calhoun Community College where she intends to complete a degree in Social Work. She is the reason we invest in helping people—a changed life.