After spending just over 3 weeks at the Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter, Jane* was unsure about her future but knew going back to a violent home was not an option. With her three daughters in tow, Jane was scared and uncertain and needed to find a place to call home.
“To be honest, the two things that made the decision for me were lack of housing options and having a place where I would have no contact with my ex so that I could make some decisions without his pressure or influence.”
Jane and her family came to Discovery House on Aug. 26, 2010. She and her three daughters, who are clients themselves, were met by a support team of case managers and began to settle into their new home and community. Their developmental levels were assessed and they were connected with external services where necessary to enhance their individual learning.
“During my stay there I came to realize just how important [having no contact with my ex] was. I was happy about finally deciding to leave and very excited about the changes I hoped this would bring. But I was also very scared about being on my own and doubtful about my ability to handle it, as well as questioning if this was even what I really wanted. The first few months, I was pretty sad and lonely. So, I just focused on my children, and reminded myself that this was best for them and for me. I started exploring the idea of going back to school, which was something I had always wanted to do.”
Over the next year, Jane worked with her case manager to develop personal and emotional coping skills, gain an understanding of the resources available to her and her children, as well as find a safety and comfort in life.
As the months went by, Jane flourished and was able to start thinking about next steps for herself and her family. Through her case manager she applied for and received! the Hands Up Bursary – an endowment fund, established by a generous donor, intended to assist clients with post-secondary education. She began looking for housing outside of the residence and making plans to move on with her life.
As Jane approached her one year mark at Discovery House, she was a very different person from the one who first walked through our door. She had gained confidence in herself and her abilities, was preparing to return to college with the help of the bursary, and was in the process of transitioning to the Community Housing Program which allowed her to move out on her own.
“Now, looking back, I see that coming to Discovery House was probably the best choice I could have made. I had access to so many resources for myself and the children and through my counselling I developed a higher self-confidence and feeling of self-worth. I was also able to see that the way my life was before was not what I wanted. My time there gave me space from my ex, so I was able to let my head clear and make choices that were best for my well-being without being pressured or feeling threatened. Everyone at Discovery House was always so encouraging and made me see that I had choices for my future. They all had so much confidence in me and made me feel strong and capable.”
Most certainly a success that encompasses all aspects of what Discovery House offers! Jane is a clear demonstration of how it is possible to make a difference in people’s lives and take one more step toward ending family violence.
We are always so thrilled to be able to share a client success story with everyone. Especially when it’s a story that embodies every aspect of Discovery House, the opportunities that are provided to our clients through the generous contributions of our donors, and the efforts of a woman determined to break the cycle of domestic violence. On behalf of all of the women and children who walk through our doors, we thank you for your contributions and support!
* Name changed for confidentiality purposes.
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