“I never thought I would be a victim of domestic violence. You wonder how someone would put up with it. But you don’t know until you are in that situation how it happens. There is a lot of fear. I have more clarity about it now. It was very challenging to stand up and defend myself in court.
“I ended up in the Domestic Violence Shelter when I realized I could either stay in my situation with a 1 year old son or change my life. I was at rock bottom. It was very scary. I had very limited resources. I never expected to be in a shelter, but I was very grateful to be there.”
From DVS, Christa moved to Milagros House where she was awarded a scholarship from Lancaster General Hospital for their RN program and began working with Tabor’s Shelter to Independent Living program to transition to permanent housing.
She is now putting together her portfolio, a resume of everything she has done during her clinical work to further her education while she is in the RN program. “I am very grateful for the opportunity I’ve been given.”
“Domestic violence led me to being homeless, led me to Tabor, to people’s kindness and generous support. The enlightening thing is all the opportunities that are there for someone who really wants to change. It’s not easy! But the help is there. Anybody who wants it will make it happen."
“Jackie [my Tabor case worker] is a very strong woman … her insight helped me the most. I had to learn to trust her as well as a lot of other people. Jackie was always honest with me, straightforward, professional, up front and we built a friendship. She didn’t tell me what to do ... she provided options and let me decide. She was a mentor … strong, wise … and a good soul.”
Christa is proud to show off her immaculate home. “I found this home by driving around the area looking for a place near LGH so I could walk there if I couldn’t drive. I saw the sign and they were having an open house. I was honest and up front about how I was repairing my life and that I would take good care of their house. That I had a less than perfect credit score but was working on repairing that as well. The landlords are good people.
“Now here I am finishing my program and being awarded the opportunity to change my life for me and my kids.” Christa also has a 17 year old daughter and her son is now 3 years old. “I am able to have a home that’s quiet and I can study, my children are safe. I have a yard where my little guy can run around. My daughter can have a friend over."
“No one I go to school with knows my story. I wanted people to see me for my mind, not my situation."
“I graduate in December and hope to soon be in a situation where I don’t need assistance. Then I can turn around and help other people. That’s why I’m sharing my story … I hope my story will help someone else.”
“Christa is a pleasure to work with. She keeps the place in perfect order … always clean and neat. She lets us know if something needs to be fixed. She always pays her water and trash bills. We have no worries that the place is being taken care of … Christa is the prefect tenant.” - Christa's landlord.