Editor’s Note: This survivor story was shared by The Family Guidance Center’s Domestic Violence services director Nicole Sherrill.
The Family Guidance Center provides a range of specialized services for individuals and families experiencing the negative effects of anxiety, depression, divorce, stress, financial problems, domestic violence, child abuse and other problems that threaten the stability of families. The agency also runs a domestic violence shelter.
This story, shared by one of the former domestic violence clients, highlights why the Catawba County United Way is thankful for the opportunity to help support programs like Family Guidance Center, showing the power of community collaboration.
In her own words
Struggles can either make or break you.
For myself? Struggling has led me to my own personal growth. I had to continue to hope for better and have the courage to fight for my success.
It’s so easy to give in to failure, but with three children, that will never be an option for me.
I came to the Family Guidance Center with no job because of my abuser, gave up my home, gave up all my stuff, just showed up with a basket of clothes, my three kids, physically bruised and mentally broken.
Day One, the staff explained everything to me from services offered to helping get all my important documents. Thanks to them I was able to get copies of my ID and Social (Security card) so I could get a job rather than having to wait for “snail mail.”
I ended up getting a job that pays me more than I have every been paid!
I remember smiling so big my cheeks hurt on the way home to the FGC. I felt like I owned a million bucks, but the fight to take back my life wasn’t over.
Next was housing.
I sort of started that, but a job was my first priority. I went out every day looking for places, but because of COVID-19 it seemed as if everywhere I applied had a waiting list. Over 10 applications out and I started to feel discouraged. I knew my credit was good, but maybe not good enough?
I went to the housing manager to talk to her about raising my score faster. She had got me in contact with someone who could better explain how and what to do so my score will be where I want it to by.
While driving one day I saw an apartment for rent sign. I got an application and reading the first bullet point of requirements made my heart sink a little, “minimum credit score.”
My score went up so quickly, I wasn’t sure, but I applied anyways.
I got my apartment!
With my credit score and now income, I got approved for a loan to furnish my new home. My housing manager made all the paperwork simple and not stressful to get me moved in smoothly.
New house. New car. New job. New furniture. New life 2021.
I don’t think I could have honestly kept it all together without the help of the (Family Guidance Center) staff, especially my kids two favorite ladies (nights and weekends staff) that were there to catch me and remind me not to give up when I was tired of trying.
They never stopped looking for me a place even when they weren’t working. I don’t think they even realized how much of a support they were for me.
I’m glad that I have been able to see I can do this myself.
To learn more about services at the Family Guidance Center call 828-322-1400.