Corner of Hope

Stories of how Opening Doors has helped women in our community.

Morgan's Story

Howdy, my name is Morgan. I am a mother of a beautiful one-year-old daughter, Rosalynn, and I recently gave birth to my son Lux. Right after my 21st birthday in March 2020, I found myself losing my grip on reality. This wasn’t the first time in my life, but it was the first time that I had realized that if I didn’t start fixing my behavior and reaching out for help, that I would lose the most important part of my life—my daughter.

I have struggled with physical, sexual, and mental abuse since I could remember, and with addiction since I was 15 years old. I had been consistently homeless since I moved out of my dad’s house when I was 18. I have dealt with domestic abuse, and have been in legal trouble. I don’t want my daughter to have that kind of life.

Seeking shelter through the Opening Doors’ program at Teresa Shelter has helped me get on the right path again, given me the support and tools to learn how to be the best mommy I can be, and provided a safe roof over my family’s head. When I first came here, I was so scared. I didn’t know if I’d really find help. I didn’t know that I’d be happy to call this place home. The staff has some of the most supportive and knowledgeable people I have ever met, more so than most of the family I had growing up.

I have started mental health and substance abuse counseling; and with the staffs’ help, I have been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle during my pregnancy without a relapse since I have gotten here. I also found a job, started saving money, and enrolled in college classes. I have been paying my dues and learning how to be a responsible and productive part of society.

My daughter has gone from barely crawling to walking, and is learning to talk more! She is just the sweetest, happiest little girl I have ever laid eyes on. Being here has shown me how to fall in love with my life and who I am as a person. I have many goals still to reach, and a lot of work to do toward them, but now I know I can do it. If I don’t know how, someone here is going to help me so that once I move on from here, I’ll be able to stay on this path and keep going to give myself and my family the best life I can.
—Morgan

Kaytie's Story

Kaytie's Family - Opening Doors

I am a 23-year-old mother of three children. I moved to Dubuque in October of 2018 to distance myself from a very toxic relationship that was harmful to my mental and physical well-being. I went to the Teresa Shleter because I had no one to lean on and nowwhere to go.

Being at the Teresa Shelter I felt safe, yet scared. It was the first time being on my own since November 2014. At the time, I did not have any employment, any money, nor did I have any idea how to rebuild my life.

During my first three weeks at the shelter, I secured a full-time job and move to the next program called “Extended Stay”. Opening Doors’ staff are very kind and understanding individuals. The shelter staff helped me when I needed it whether it was finding work, finding transportation resources, needing clothes, etc. We had weekly meetings to make sure we were on track and meeting our short- and long-term goals.

In March of this year I moved to Maria House, which is transitional housing for women and children. I worked on completing an in-depth budget and with the help of staff, I moved to the Francis Apartments in May.

I am very grateful that Dubuque has Opening Doors to serve women and children who are in need.

Q's Story

Q's photo - Testimonial

My name is Q. I lived at Teresa Shelter for a year and a half, the Maria House for six months, and have been living in the Francis Apartments for three months.

When I arrived at the Teresa Shelter I had little working experience, had dropped out of college, and was without support in my life. A bad mental health episode had caused me to damage my relationships with friends and family which affected my schooling. Ultimately this caused me to have a drop out of school and move into an unstable situation. It was a bad living situation for me financially and mentally. Once I got the news that we were going to be evicted I made the choice to go out on my own.

When I arrived at the shelter I was going untreated for my mental health and that became one of my first goals.  Eventually, I made and met goals of finding a job, having three jobs over my time in all of the programs. I also had a goal of going to back to school and I graduated at NICC with an Associates of Arts in December 2018. I continue working on my goal for school, going back to a university this fall to continue for a Bachelor’s degree. I am also currently working on my goal of getting my driver’s license.

In December of 2018, I moved into the Francis Apartments, which was my first time living by myself. I never could have lived in a beautiful apartment like this without receiving the *rent subsidy provided by Opening Doors (*made possible by funding from the McDonough Foundation). Without the support of staff every step of the way and knowing I had a safe place to sleep every night, I never would have made it as far as I have. I now keep my mental health in control, I’m continuing my education, getting my license, and have the potential to get promoted at my job. I also have managed to fix most of the important relationships in my life.