Isa is a happy, positive 30-year old single mother of two daughters, 7 and 8 years old. But she wasn’t always that way.
Isa was on probation when she started selling drugs and soon began using heroin herself. Eight months later her house was raided and she was incarcerated on September 29, 2015 – a day she’ll always remember. She spent 11 months in prison. The children’s father cared for them during this time.
After release from prison, she completed a six-month stay at Gaudenzia Vantage House, a therapeutic community program for women struggling with drugs and alcohol. Lenara, Beth Shalom’s program coordinator, had an opening at Beth Shalom and notified the director of Vantage House. Lenara reviewed Isa’s application and accepted her into the program. Isa happily moved into Beth Shalom with her two daughters. Lenara comments, “When I met Isa, she was a very humble young lady and was ready to start a new life.”
Isa’s biggest obstacle was telling herself that “I don’t need to feel weak or overwhelmed by fear.” Because her mother, sister, and brother all live in Florida, she felt alone. With Lenara’s help during their weekly meetings, Isa now believes that “you’re never alone.”
Isa attends Bible study, attends church every Sunday, has completed five weeks of Tabor’s Life Skills program, and recently applied for a job. It’s important for her to have structure in her life. Her main goal is to stay sober and clean, be a good role model for her daughters, establish security in her life, save money, and see her mom and give her a hug.
Beth Shalom has given Isa the secure, safe environment that she and her daughters need. “It’s a safe haven, and the girls love the space to play in the backyard.” She has also learned to be patient with herself, living one day at a time.
To the donors of Beth Shalom, Isa simply and sincerely says, “Thank you. Your help not only helps women and children, but it helps a family be able to bond and be together.”
Isa’s advice to others is “Never give up on yourself and never forget to ask for help. I am proof that miracles do happen and people can change. Lenara and Beth Shalom helped me make these changes.”