“You all have made a difference in my life” – Lee
Lee, who is a domestic violence survivor, has been homeless for over seven years. Her husband was a trucker, driving eighteen wheelers from state to state and for years his long hauls kept her safe. She and their four children tried to keep a fragile peace during his short visits, but inevitably he would erupt in violence. “He could be really sweet and caring and then after a few beers take your head off for dropping a pencil,” said Lee.
Because of the escalating violence in her home, Lee was forced into homelessness and her children were placed in foster care in 2009. “They weren’t able to keep my kids together,” said Lee. “This hurts me so deeply, knowing that my babies are not growing up together as brothers and sisters.”
While Lee was staying at a local co-ed shelter, she did not feel safe and sought out a women-only program at the shelter located in the same church as Elizabeth Gregory Home. That’s how Lee discovered us. “I’ve been to a lot of homeless day shelters in many different states and this is the best place,” Lee said. “You all care! You have made such a difference in the lives of the ladies who come here,” Lee said.
“Before I found EGH my life was chaotic, I was in distress. I felt discomfort and was frowned upon every day.” Lee admits that she was suspicious and defensive and that it took a while to let her guard down. “You have made me feel welcome here…it’s just like home. The small kindnesses that I receive each day, just the fact that you take the trouble to learn my name, makes me feel human. You all have made a difference in my life. I feel like I can be me again, not just an anonymous person constantly in survival mode.”
As a result of getting enough rest, eating healthy nutritious food on a regular basis, and getting support from staff, Lee has begun to make a plan for what she needs to do to reunite with her children. Lee said, “My dream is to be with my children again and to bring structure to my life. I’ve learned some life changing skills here. I take time to put thought into my decisions now.”