June 19, 2015-

My four children and I came into the shelter after a violent incident with my husband.  I was extremely emotional, depressed, and anxious due to all I had been through over the course of 15 years.  I was unsure of everything!  I questioned my parenting skills, my abilities in the job market, and I struggled to find self worth.  I questioned even coming to the shelter, asking if it was the right thing to do for the children.  But I knew my children were not safe at home.  I was enrolled at the local community college, but was not working.  I depended on my husband not only financially, but to assist with childcare.  I was overwhelmed.  The shelter staff immediately recognized my full potential, and began the long road of helping me see it, as well.  They worked on self-esteem, financial planning, and contacted the local YMCA to assist with childcare.  My vehicle started overheating shortly after coming to the shelter, so the staff helped me find an auto repair shop that fixed the problem as a donation.  I slowly began to see that I could raise four children by myself, and continue go to school. My self-confidence increased everyday.  I soon found a job, and began saving money.  I applied for housing with every agency available.  One of the huge obstacles I faced was finding affordable housing for a family of five, but I never gave up.  Additionally, I began attending the Incredible Years parenting series at night.  The classes helped build my confidence even more, and I built stronger relationships with her children.  A slot finally opened up with a housing agency, and I was able to move into a new place.  I graduated from the medical program and was able to get a job at my internship site.  We are currently in a safe, happy, violence-free.  This would not have been possible without the Help, Inc. staff who believed in me when I couldn’t believe in myself.

March 22, 2015-

I have received so much help from the many professional people who understand and know what I needed these passed few months. The hard part is still up to me, but I know deep inside of me if I had not received the guidance and support I did from Freedom House and Help, Inc., I wouldn’t be sitting here, in peace, writing this.

People at Help, Inc. believed in and understood me. My family and friends couldn’t understand, but the staff always does.  With open arms, they helped me learn that I didn’t deserve this; that I was strong, intelligent, and a beautiful human being.  Even though the nightmares are still with me, I know I don’t deserve abuse.  Thank you, Help, Incorporated!

December 2, 2014-

I came into shelter with five children, two of them being four-year-old twins. I had nothing, but knew that I could not have stayed one more night with my husband. Every time he beat me, I knew that it could be fatal and I couldn’t bear the thought of my children growing up without me, with no mother to care for them.  Freedom House has a good name, because I felt free and safe for the first time in a long time. The staff allowed me and my children to stay there for almost two months, giving me time begin the healing process and to get a job and a place to live. While I was there, the staff helped my twins get into a Head Start program in Rockingham County, provided counseling and the true support that me and my children so desperately needed.

On behalf of my family and of all the families that come to Help, Incorporated, I would like to say thank you for all of the blessings you brought to us. Please continue to provide your services, for which there is a great need.

August 20, 2014-

I came to the shelter to escape a five-year abusive relationship with my three-year-old son.  I was very cautious and nervous about leaving home, given my partner was a prominent figure in the community.  I spoke with the family advocate at Freedom House for several weeks, brainstorming a safety plan that would allow me and my son a fresh start.  Once in the shelter, I took advantage of all shelter services, including professional therapy, life skill classes, and employment assistance.  I was also assisted in a relocation plan, so that I could begin a new life free from the community that would most certainly side with her well-known partner.  The shelter staff assisted me in creating that plan, as well as referred me to legal counsel for fair custody and divorce proceedings.  After two months, I got a job and moved into an apartment, located two counties away.  If it were not for Help, Inc., I would not have been able to escape the relationship and enjoy my new found happy, healthy life.

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