I came to House of Hope as a new mother, I was timid and scared. I kept to myself and didn’t interact with anyone. I had my focus on my main goal: to find a home for my daughter and I. After a little bit of adjustment, I realized that this was more than a place to wait for housing. I wanted to fully embrace the program and get the most out of it during our stay. The woman who first stepped foot into House of Hope is not the same woman who graduated from the House of Hope. I have evolved, grown and blossomed into a woman and mother I am proud to be. I emerged from the program with a deeper sense of myself, vision for future, and connection to a new support system. 

I was processing a lot of deep trauma from the abuse I went through while pregnant. The trauma carried on with me long after I had my baby. It hovered over me and I tried to ignore it. The House of Hope staff encouraged me to start weekly therapy again. I was scared to face my trauma head on, but I am grateful the House of Hope staff recognized that I needed the extra support so I could heal for myself and my daughter. Over time, I was able to recognize what triggers me and I became less scared. I felt a sense of peace and safety that I hadn’t felt in a long time. In between weekly therapy sessions, school, caring for my daughter, and looking for housing, I turned to writing as a way to fully dive into my healing and process the trauma. I was supported by House of Hope staff in my healing journey and always had a safe place to talk in their offices. By the time I moved to my own home, I left feeling like a stronger woman.

I didn’t think school was an option for me as a single mom. House of Hope gave me the resources, encouragement and support to start on my college path. I found a program that offered online classes with a weekly meetup. The weekly meetups gave me an opportunity to socialize, make new friends and build confidence. Since becoming a mom, I wasn’t as social as I used to be. Meeting some mom friends at the meetups helped me be more comfortable with socializing and getting out of my bubble again. I felt like I was living a normal life surrounded by my new friends sitting in that chair at my weekly meetups. School kept me busy, accountable. It gave me a chance to think about what I wanted to do for a career. Being a student while at the House of Hope gave me hope for my future.

I struggled with feeling like I was just part of a statistic, being homeless due to domestic violence. I felt ashamed when I first arrived at House of Hope. It took time to embrace that this was part of my journey to a new beginning. I have always been an empathetic and compassionate woman. During our time at House of Hope, I felt like I was able to look for the good in people on a whole new level. I was surrounded by moms, all with different stories and challenges. I looked at their children and found it in my heart to see others as human beings trying to heal and build a new life for their family, just as I was doing. Feeling ashamed quickly disappeared as I humbled myself during my stay. I grew tremendously as a woman by humbling myself, and I carry the humbleness to today as I live our life.

The House of Hope allowed me to feel safe for the first time and I am grateful it gave me a place to heal and grow. House of Hope was my stepping stone in my new beginning I was looking for. I will forever be grateful for the hearts that serve there. They saw the potential in me even when I didn’t see it in myself in the beginning. I fully embraced the program and learned I could build a new life for my family. With the support, encouragement, and love I received from the staff while a resident, here I am today in a permanent home with my family living a happy and blissful life. I will always remember the lessons I learned while at the House of Hope and take them with me throughout my lifetime.

Lisa (name has been changed to protect privacy), House of Hope graduate, pursuing her dream career in early childhood development. She and her children are thriving in their own home. Lisa volunteers regularly encouraging and supporting other moms at the House of Hope.