Woman for Summer 2014 NewsletterIt wasn’t long ago that Carolyn fled from South Carolina to Philadelphia by plane with her children, each of them carrying their possessions in a single suitcase. Running from an abusive partner who she feared might kill her and harm her children, Carolyn arrived at the home of her brother’s family unsure of what her future would hold. Unable to stay with her brother for long, Carolyn didn’t know where she would go next until her brother’s wife connected her to Ms. Angie at the Baring House Crisis Nursery.

Ms. Angie found housing for Carolyn and her children at People’s Emergency Center (PEC), provided childcare for her youngest children at Baring House, and secured winter clothing and other items that the family needed. When Carolyn felt overwhelmed by the strangeness of living in a shelter and the challenges she faced, Ms. Angie comforted her and helped her to persevere despite the difficulties.

In the months that followed, Carolyn worked diligently to build a new life for her family. She enrolled in a GED program and flourished at YSI’s Enhancing Parenting Program, becoming a key part of the program’s caring and supportive community. Recently honored as PEC’s Most Progressive Resident, Carolyn participates in domestic violence counseling classes and will soon begin a program to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. She has enrolled her older children in local elementary and middle schools and has arranged for them to begin therapy to help them deal with their traumatic experiences.

Though Carolyn has a number of important goals left to accomplish – entering into transitional housing, completing her GED and nursing assistant programs, and supporting her children in finishing high school and college – she feels worlds away from her darkest days:

I feel free now and I feel stronger; I feel like I can accomplish more now…I believe that [Baring House] is a good place for families that need help. They’ve helped me a lot. We need more places like this.