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I became a single parent when my husband of 7 years abruptly left for his longtime affair. My son, Rob was just 18 months old and my daughter, Samantha, had just turned 3. I was left without family close to support me, and shortly after, I began attending LifeBridge Christian Church’s Single Moms Group.
There are many struggles a single mom faces and debt was my challenge. Though I was blessed to hold a decent job, the refinance of our home, left me in a tight predicament. Though I was struggling to provide what my children needed, my income put me right above the cut off to receive any type of government assistance and even reduced school lunches for my children. I didn’t qualify for loans because my debt was too high and my income too low and the fact that I had good credit or a good job didn’t matter. I was unable to purchase a car and home repairs were out of the question. I felt I was pretty much stuck and just barely staying afloat.
When I was accepted into PEARL's Focus Pearl Program I was given an opportunity to re-evaluate my life by looking at where I was and how I wanted our future to look. As a single mom, focusing on the future was never something I was able to do because I was always focused on just surviving, staying afloat and keeping my children safe and happy. With support and encouragement from my Mentor Family and PEARL's Leadership Team, I was able to step back and look at my life, asking what it was that I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I didn’t have that kind of support, in my life, before PEARL.
As I started the Focus Pearl Program, I began keeping a journal. I looked at my finances, career, household needs, my children’s needs/wants and finally my personal life. I set goals and took little steps like consolidating credit card bills.
I have been blessed to have been matched up with a great Mentor Family. I really thank Elaine and Pete for being my mentors. Elaine has been fantastic and really encouraged me to look at myself and set goals and dreams, for my children AND for myself, as well! Not only have I accomplished so many things thanks to Pearl’s Focus Pearl program, but I now have lifetime friendship established with Elaine!
I became a single parent 17 years ago when my husband got physically violent with my children and me. I was in my senior year of college and being that the violence reached a life-threatening level, I was forced to drop out and take my children to safety. Immediately after our separation, my husband emptied our bank account and our home of all our possessions. At this time, my children were ages 6, 3, 2 and 1. I found myself alone with four babies, no home, no job, no completed education, no money and nowhere to go for help and support. I was completely devastated and had absolutely no idea of how we were going to make it. We had to move every year, sometimes more than once a year, with instances of homelessness and having to sleep in our car. I often worked multiple minimum wage jobs but felt like there was never enough money and things were never going to get better because I had no way to provide a better life for my children. I felt like I was stuck and lost a lot of sleep thinking of ways to stay afloat one more month while trying to become self-sufficient.
Along the way, I was directed to PEARL's Car Care Clinic where they have helped to keep cars running and ensure people get to work, school and other necessary appointments. That was a big help, but I was also able to shop for free clothing for my family, as well as career clothes, through Pearl’s “Closet” clothing store. PEARL also offered a class this past summer called Getting Ahead in a “Just Getting By World” where participants took a look at their own situation while establishing a future plan of how to accomplish their aspirations.
I also got involved with PEARL's Focus Pearl Program. They offered scholarships to interested single parents, and provided me the opportunity to return to school through collaboration with the Precision Manufacturing program through Front Range Community College. I am currently more then halfway through the program, and have an A in class, but I would have never had this opportunity if it weren’t for PEARL's financial support. Job interviews have already begun and I am, once again, feeling hopeful and seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
PEARL has vowed their support, as I complete my education and work toward self-sufficiency. I have recently been accepted into PEARL's “Pearl of Hope” program, which has begun to provide weekly mentoring and assistance in making sure our needs are being met. I will never be able to thank these people enough for what they have done to change my life but I will continually pay it forward. I have been overwhelmed by their care and concern shown and see that they take personal interest in those with whom they are working. I have now completed my GED and am currently attending college. Through my own determination and all the help I have received, I am in the process of creating a life for my son and me that is secure, safe and full of love and hope. I am so grateful to all the people who have supported me, loved me, shown me there is hope and continue to be God’s hand in my life. With their help, I have learned there is nothing impossible with God! Nothing! And secure in that profound truth, I have found my smile again!