‘Joyce’ and her son, 5/11/17

Joyce - Housing For The Homeless - Off The Streets Huntington BeachA big congratulations to ‘Joyce’ (identity protected) & her young son for getting into their own home today after being homeless for the last 5 months, living with friends, with fellow church members, and most recently in a shelter. Read their compelling story below:

Dear OTS,

I was married to a man who psychologically, emotionally and financially abused me. All of which I struggled with but he told me it was my fault “if only I had done something anything different then he would not have to treat me this way.” On our wedding anniversary he become so angry he punched me in the face. A week later he choked me to the floor and made me apologize for being a “bad girl”. Of course afraid I did apologize and asked him to apologize to me for beating me with his belt and choking me. To which he firmly replied saying No! that he had done nothing wrong.

I begged him to change, I cried and begged him to not make me check into a shelter, he adamantly told me to “do whatever I had to do,” He was never going to change. Feeling like a failure I checked into a shelter completely broken but courageous for my son and for the man he would be someday! My greatest fear was that he would grow up and choke his wife to the ground. I do not want that to be his “normal.”

What was once a source of shame is now a source of pride. During my time at the shelter I went through individual counseling as well as group counseling. I participated in weekly, sometimes daily bible studies. Iread books to educate me about domestic violence, single parenting and Christian parenting. I watched several DVD’s on the same subjects and went back to college. I earned a certificate in in sports medicine as well as medical assisting.

Since leaving the shelter, it has been so hard to find permanent housing. We have moved 3 times in the last 5 months. I drive around with my food pantry in the trunk of my car. All this change has been so hard on my son’s childlike mind. For the first time ever he is asking if people don’t love him anymore and tells me he wants to go back “home”. All he has really known is the shelter and that is the safe “home” he longs for. I encourage him to trust in God and we pray together for our new home. I also reassure him that as long and we are together we are home.

Now I am working full time, committed to myself, my son and my church. I am so proud of the happiness that fills my son; it is a happiness he would have never known had I not left his father. It is difficult for me to be a single parent, but I know now it is nowhere as hard as it could have been had I not left. More importantly I know that I have a God that loves me and who will provide for us a way through the wilderness. In our new home I hope to give my son stability, safety and a place to grow confidently into to the boy God has designed him to be. I need help to get us in the studio apartment and a table to do homework on and enjoy family meals on together.

Thank You, ‘Joyce’

This single Mom and her son bring our total placements this year to 68 and our grand total since we started in 2014 up to 378.

Off the Streets – Huntington Beach

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