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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.
I grew up in a very strict Independent, fundamental, Baptist home. I was in church 4 times a week, and "soul winning" on Saturday's. But after graduating high school, I strayed away from the church, began making poor decisions, and compromising on my beliefs.
Like many single moms, I made the decision to marry someone at the wrong time in my life, and it resulted in an eventual divorce. My choices left me the single mom of an amazing, smart and beautiful little girl, Lisa, but my unwavering stubbornness still closed my heart to all that God had in store for me.
When Lisa was 3 months old she had heart surgery and was hospitalized for RSV 2 months later. I could no longer control my circumstances. I couldn't keep it all together. I remember one night laying in bed crying out to God for forgiveness and begging for help. "God, I can't do this alone!" I needed God to help me clean up the mess I made.
A few weeks later, I was introduced to PEARL. They helped me so much, especially with my car, ensuring that I have a safe and reliable vehicle to get Lisa and myself around. They have also fulfilled so many needs but the one that sticks out the most is Christ-like love and support. The support I get from my mentor and the other beautiful women, at the Single Moms’ Group, has gotten me through the darkest time of my life. Their constant encouragement and uplifting words continue to motivate my walk with Christ, showing me that God does have a plan for me and it is better than anything I could ever foster on my own.
Being a single mom is the hardest, but most rewarding job I have ever had. I can't imagine doing it without the help of the Single Moms’ Group. All of this support would not be possible without PEARL, LifeBridge Christian Church and the volunteers involved with the Single Moms Group. I could never thank them enough for the love and support.
I am so grateful to Pearl for helping me get on the road to self-sufficiency. I was spending three to four hours a day on the bus with two young children. Between school drop-off and pick-up times, and the time spent in a bus line, I was looking for a couple part-time jobs with the hope of one of them allowing me to work at home during the evenings.
Being on a single-mom schedule, my options were very limited, and I was losing hope that I would ever be able to work and support my family. Then the flood hit and I felt even more discouraged – doing the math, there was no way I could earn enough through my employment to pay for rent, childcare, healthcare and food costs while being dependent on the bus.
At one point, I considered not working as hard, and instead just claiming disability and learning to be content with food stamps, rental, medical and childcare assistance. But then PEARL gave me hope that it is possible to be successful like other single moms in their programs. Now with new motivation, encouragement and a car received through the PEARL Transportation program, a whole new world of possibilities opened up for me: I now have a full-time job that pays my expenses, I started graduate school, and both of my children are in the same school with an after-school program.
Thank you to PEARL for the opportunity to reach my goal of being self-sufficient.