I came into the shelter as a ragged 27-year-old, no money, no job, no education. I was a high school dropout, no place to call come with four shell-shocked children under the age of 10. Their first thought when we arrived was “Mommy, we can all have our own bed now!” Before that, they had been sharing and I slept on the floor.

I received so much love and hope for me and my family. There was counseling: for me, for my children, for me with my children. The advocates came to court with me and were, at times, my only support in the whole world. I cannot thank them enough.