Spring. New Life. New Hope.
“Perhaps the butterfly is proof that you can go through a great deal of darkness and still become something beautiful.” – Unknown
My name is Erika. I am a single mother of a very vibrant nine-year-old. In April 2019, we left a very unhealthy environment and entered Teresa Shelter.
I learned so much about myself by utilizing resources in the community and having worked with the shelter case managers. They made me feel like I could be successful and have the good life I longed for. They work with me relentlessly until I saw my own potential. I obtained my GED during these short months and then enrolled in NICC for college courses.
In July we were so excited to move to the Maria House. I participated in “Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By World.” This class taught me things I never knew about poverty, society, social class, and the way the world works. I am grateful that I can now relay these teachings to my daughter.
I was also given the chance to speak at the Attitude of Gratitude for Opening Doors. I was honored to talk about my experiences and how far I have come. I had never been invited to a fundraiser, especially one where my voice could finally be heard. That night ignited my passion to be a motivational speaker and share my story so I can help other people overcome their struggles too.
Today, I am proud to say that my daughter and I remain part of Opening Doors through the Permanent Supportive Housing program. We moved to our own apartment in January 2020 and it feels like a dream!
This program and the dedicated staff have helped me blossom into the woman I thought I could never be. I intend to continue my education and earn a master’s degree in social work so I can help support others on their journey.
I am truly thankful that God led me to Opening Doors.
As we continue to navigate COVID-19 and a world so changed and different, let us focus on New Life and Hope!
The Virus has taken its toll; on human lives and on daily life. As we emerge on the other side, we offer Erika’s story of hope. You have given Erika and her daughter hope. They have embraced your offering and are thriving. From Teresa Shelter and Maria House to permanent supportive housing, your support is their lifeline. With lofty goals of continuing education and car ownership, this family is paving a path toward independence.
You give New Life. You give Hope.
Carol Gebhart, Executive Director
Butterfly photos by Sherry Magirl of Big Cheese Photos.