Valerie's Story: My 3 Children Are My Biggest Cheerleaders
Fearful, distraught, rejected, discouraged and tearful are just a few words to describe how I felt as I watched workers set my valuables outside. Nothing could have prepared me for that moment. I was being evicted from my apartment due to extenuating circumstances beyond my control. Knowing that I had nowhere else to live reality begin to set in as tears ran down my face. One of the workers made a palette for me to sit on outside while they worked to move my things. I gathered myself and made arrangements for my belongings and made my way to the shelter. My first night there I sat in the bed in tears in disbelief. This would be the beginning of an amazing, heartfelt journey with a blissful ending.
I remember having the mindset that I have to work hard, push forward and pray in order for everything to turn around. Having a daily routine with fierce determination was a must. I would get up, get ready for my day by packing my bags from the shelter. Being aware that it was mandated to be out of the shelter rooms within a certain timeframe I would make my way to the library. I would empower myself through job searching and seeing what educational opportunities were available to me. I was persistent with searching for employment, going on multiple interviews. All of my belongings had been placed in storage including my clothes. Thanks to the clothing store at The Corner Closet I was able to get clothing for my interviews. I was turned down, rejected from multiple jobs and apartments. However, I never stopped praying and believing that God would provide for me. I never gave up hope while being homeless. Sure there were many nights that I would lie in my room with tears in my eyes asking “why me”. I still kept going and doing all that I needed to do to become independent again.
I have met so many wonderful individuals that understood my experiences and far exceeded any expectations that I had. All of my hard work and dedication paid off. I received the exciting news from my coordinator that I finally had gotten approved for a beautiful apartment! In addition, I was able to get hired on with steady employment and consistent stream of income! There was a light shining at the end of my tunnel.
My 3 children were excited for me and become my biggest cheerleaders. Terrance, my oldest son states “I’ve seen you endure some of the toughest of times. Having me as a teenage mother brought its own challenges. I’m proud of you!” When my daughter Karen heard of all the good news with the apartment and my job she was speechless! She said “mom because of your hard work and what you had to go through I will make sure to do everything I can to make sure that I don’t become a part of the system. It will not become a perpetual cycle from generation to generation. You exemplify the saying “when life gives you lemons you just make lemonade.’”
My youngest Patrick had me in tears when I told him the good news. He said “mom, you’ve worked hard all my life and I appreciate you. I didn’t know so many resources were available and now I’m interested in being more involved in the community!”
My spirituality and faith in God has always been a sure foundation for me. I knew that no matter how tough, my steps in life were ordered by God. In the end, the saying truly does apply from bible in Romans 8:28. “ALL things work together for the GOOD of them that love the Lord…” Never stop believing, don’t quit, and take it moment by moment. I can now say “I can go home to my own place!”