A woman named Jane* called our domestic violence hotline in March 2021. After experiencing years of domestic violence, perpetuated by drug use and unmet health needs, Jane had decided to take a stand. She was committed to setting a new standard for herself and her 10-year-old daughter. Shortly after that phone call, she and her daughter came to the Morning Star Sanctuary shelter with only their vehicle, some clothing, and personal documents.
While at the shelter, Jane began her journey towards healing. Every day brought challenges, but she began to grow and make strides towards a better life for her and her daughter.
One day, shelter participants created “vision boards” with goals and dreams they hoped to achieve one day. Jane’s board included a picture of a baking pan, and she shared how she longed for the day that she would have her own kitchen so she and her daughter could bake a cake together.
As her time in the shelter drew to a close, Jane received a rejection letter from a housing authority due to her criminal background. She wrote a letter to appeal the rejection, and an excerpt from it states:
“These charges reflected on my record occurred during a time when I was abusing substances and suffering from an untreated brain injury. Those are the old me. Since my last charge, nearly 5 years ago, I have stepped into active recovery of drug and alcohol use. I believe taking it one day at a time, caring for myself that day in a way that provides for healthy and whole healing. My priority is raising my daughter in a safe environment where I can demonstrate and model a healthy lifestyle free of substance use ... I want to take ownership of my past and acknowledge my goals for the future, including a safe place to live and grow.”
Jane read her letter aloud to others in the shelter with pride and ownership. She was seeing and savoring how far she had already come.
Soon after, she was approved for a housing voucher, and Jane and her daughter moved into their new, two-bedroom home. Just a few weeks later, we received a donation of kitchen items to be delivered to Jane in her new apartment, including a new cake pan.
*Name has been changed to Jane Doe for privacy.
The 24/7 crisis hotline is 615-860-0003.
To see a list of items currently needed for the shelter, click here.