Corner of Hope
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 clothers, 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.
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 finanically 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 Deceber of 2018, I moved into the Francis Apartments, which was my first time living by myself. I never could have lived in a beautiful aparment 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.