My name is Desiree and I am a DVACK success story. I came to DVACK when I took the scary step and fled my violent situation. I didn’t know what to expect and I honestly wasn’t sure how I was going to succeed. I have been in abusive relationships for many years. I endured all types of domestic violence: emotional, verbal, financial, and severe physical abuse. I came to the DVACK shelter with my future unknown. I was a single mother of two seeking to end the violence in our lives, unemployed, homeless, and had no clue how I was going to be able to stand on my own two feet and support my babies. If it wasn’t for the advocates and the services I received I would not be where I am today. While at the shelter I went on journeys I did not expect. I learned about goals. In the beginning my goal was to find Mr. Right, but soon learned it only masked my fear of learning and being the independent strong woman I could be. With the support of DVACK staff and other clients I discovered my strength and courage. This was my turning point; I knew I could do what I set my mind to. I would not be drawn back to unhealthy relationships in exchange for “support” for my family. I learned about budgeting, something that even in my late 20’s no one had ever taught me. I was the prime example of “out of sight, out of mind”, and did not have a positive grasp on my finances. The day my DVACK advocate and I ran my credit report I was nervous in every sense of the word. But she assured me I had to know where I was to know where I was working from and that my situation was not my destination. Intimidating as it was we took it on head first. We worked on budgeting; I set goals for my future and started taking action to become self-sufficient. I worked on becoming a better parent, believing in myself, and learning patience. While in shelter, I gained employment and the ability to provide for my family. Near the end of my shelter stay I found myself motivating, encouraging, and supporting other shelter clients to not give up because I had learned what was possible. It is hard leaving an abusive situation, but at times it’s even harder not going back. Looking back, it’s almost unbelievable how far I have come in a matter of months. I am still a single mom, but I’m a single mom who is employed, living on my own, utilizing my new budgeting skills, have my own car, going to college and continuing to be a positive role model for my kids. It’s not easy, but no worthwhile success is!
By December 31, 2015, DVACK will increase the number of shelter residents who secure employment from 38% to 50%.