Brenda came to the shelter fleeing sexual and severe physical abuse by her husband. After completing her shelter stay she transitioned to the Safe Berks Bridge housing program.
After moving to the Safe Berks Bridge housing program, she began to open up about the abuse. Brenda had a difficult time trusting anyone and had built a protective wall around her. She had been traumatized by physical, emotional and sexual abuse since she was a child. She was finally able to begin intensive supportive counseling, helping her with the healing process and being able to let go of some of the pain that continued to weigh her down.
With the help of staff encouragement, Brenda became employed as a home health aide. With each day of gaining self-confidence, Brenda decided to enroll in the Certified Nursing Assistant program at the local Community College. She continued to work full time and attend classes to further her education. She graduated and became a licensed Certified Nursing Assistant.
While Brenda was residing in the Safe Berks Bridge housing program she continued with her individualized intensive supportive counseling while learning many life skills. She learned budgeting skills, the importance of saving, parenting skills, copping skills and the importance of self-esteem.
Brenda arrived at Safe Berks with many challenges. However, while at Safe Berks she made many strides in achieving her goals and learning to value herself. Her goal of permanent housing is becoming a reality and she will be moving into her own place with her children.
Brenda can finally feel proud of her achievements and truly believes she and her children will continue to grow in a positive and successful way. When asked how Safe Berks impacted her life, she responded by saying, “Safe Berks has given me the hope, courage and strength to be the strong woman my children and I can depend on. I am forever grateful for all they have done for me.” />
Vivian came to Safe Berks with her 3 children. She had left a domestic violence and sexual violence situation with a husband who abused her for 17 years. Her husband had also been physically abusive to their oldest daughter.
While at Safe Berks, Vivian was referred to the Safe Berks legal department for a Protection from Abuse order (PFA) for herself and her oldest daughter. She was also referred to Safe Berks counseling department for her and all 3 daughters.
Vivian’s husband was very controlling which left her feeling helpless and alone. With the help of her counselor in the Safe House she was educated about all the resources in the community that were available to her.
Vivian then pursued all the options the Department of Public Welfare had to offer; she received financial assistance, medical care and food stamps. Vivian was granted a final PFA for her and her oldest daughter and she finally felt protected and free. She began to feel empowered by all the strides she had made, and was now ready to take the next step, transitioning to the Safe Berks Bridge housing program.
In the Safe Berks Bridge housing program, Vivian began learning the tools necessary for self-sufficiency. These tools included budgeting, time management and the life skills necessary to run a household.
Vivian continued to grow and once again transitioned to the next stage within Safe Berks. In collaboration with other agencies, Vivian was able to get subsidy and support while moving into the Safe Berks Bridge housing program. In this program, she was able to enroll in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes and began volunteering within her community. Vivian gained confidence with her cooking skills and began cooking for the elderly as part of her volunteer work. She was so successful she was offered full time employment.
Vivian is now residing in her own home safely with her 3 daughters.