Impact Stories


The first time I entered Teresa Shelter was in 2019.  I was a new mom of a 3 month old daughter and found myself homeless with no one to turn to for help.  I had a long history of traumatic experiences and struggled with coping with my past.  When I came to the shelter, I was never judged for my past decisions and was immediately given support by the staff.

Since 2019, I have turned to Teresa Shelter for help whenever I have needed it.  I have entered shelter five times in the last 5 years and each time I was welcomed, supported, and listened to.  I have learned how to budget my money, how to appropriately handle stressful situations, and most importantly, I learned that I am capable of reaching all of the goals I have set for myself.  This program supported me through the most difficult times in my life and because of everything I have learned from this program, my daughter and I now have our own apartment and are doing great!





My name is Lora and I am a single mother of a five year old daughter named Ella. I have been involved with Opening Doors programs several times in the last 5 years due to relationship breakdowns and financial instability.  Each time I came to Teresa Shelter, I learned skills to help me budget my money.  Staff supported me as I began seeing a counselor to help me with coping skills to deal with my mental health.  I was encouraged to enroll at NICC for my GED and in July of 2023, I was able to accomplish this goal with Opening Doors staff standing by my side!  I was able to obtain my driver’s license while at Teresa Shelter and now have my own vehicle!  My daughter and I are now able to live independently in our own apartment and are stable for the first time in many years.  I still utilize Opening Doors for support in their Aftercare program and know that they will always be there for me when I call.





My name is Julianne. I have three sons; Jonathan, who passed away almost two years ago at the age of 30, Jesse who is 30, and Drake who is 28. I have gone through many difficult experiences that have made me who I am today.

Looking back at the last three years of being in the Opening Doors’ program, I am amazed at the woman that I have become. I’m not so critical of my looks or body image like I used to be. I see perfect imperfection. I smile more. Fear has disappeared. I am learning to have a voice and speak up when I need to, to walk away from negativity, to be bold and confident, to have inner joy again, and to live MY life as I choose. Yes there were excruciating times, but I grew so much through those experiences. Love changes everything. Last December I found out that I had breast cancer. I had two surgeries and chemotherapy to treat it. I stayed positive as much as I could and took one day at a time centered in my faith. The cancer experience made me realize that I gave to love others, but now it is my turn to love myself. I gave myself permission to explore my art again. I recently got a part-time job teaching others art as an instructor. I crochet on days when I’m in too much pain to paint. I also make paper rose wreaths out of old books.

My creativity has helped me to stay in the moment and stay positive. Opening Doors always believed in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. They encouraged my art and listened to what I wanted for my life.

I cannot thank you enough for supporting Opening Doors. It is time to let our light shine! Much love and peace, Julianne.



It will take more than words to talk about Opening Doors. All staff show such dedication and courage to women and children who are experiencing challenges in their lives.  We were welcomed by great kindness despite everything we have gone through in our past.  We greatly appreciate their support and their reintegration into active life as best as possible. Opening Doors brings comfort and makes a difference in our daily lives and our well-being.  The support and help of Opening Doors is so appreciated!








After suffering from addiction and having to bounce around between friends and family’s homes, Ebony entered the Teresa Shelter looking for a fresh start. She immediately began to work hard on finding employment and began working a full time job.  Ebony learned the importance of financial responsibility and saving money.  She was able to begin processing things that happened in her past and learned healthy ways of coping with trauma.  Through her hard work and the support of Opening Doors staff, Ebony was able to accomplish her goal of  re-establishing healthy relationships with her four children.  Ebony now lives in her own apartment at Francis Apartments with her children.  She continues to work full time, save money, and was able to purchase a vehicle for herself!