April 6, 2022
On the outside, Amelia appears to be just like any other middle-class woman. She is sitting in a Starbucks wearing nice clothes and jewelry and has beautiful hair. This isn’t the woman one would picture when thinking of someone who, just two years ago, was days away from homelessness.
Amelia followed a traditional path to success. She attended college and worked some great jobs in corporate America. She had savings and a career. But for 16 years, Amelia was emotionally and physically abused by her husband. Through the years of abuse, her husband cut her off from family and friends and her career. So, when Amelia decided to leave she was very much on her own.
Her husband did everything in his power to make the divorce as costly and time-consuming as possible, and after years of abuse, Amelia was exhausted. The bills from court and attorney’s fees drained all of her savings. According to Amelia, through this process “…she was sucked into poverty.” Amelia quickly found herself three months behind on rent with a stack of unpaid bills. Thinking back on that time, Amelia remembered barely being able to look at herself in the mirror. She was broken, and now, she and her kids were about to be homeless.
Amelia contacted Bridge of Hope after hearing an ad on the radio. Thanks to the support of our donors, Bridge of Hope was able to provide the resources to prevent her and her children from being evicted. This was a huge victory as keeping this family in their home provided much-needed stability for them during a tumultuous time.
Through all of this, Amelia maintained a full-time job. As a result, Amelia and her Bridge of Hope Case Manager set the goal of increasing her income, paying off past debts and creating a stable future for herself and her children. Reflecting on her experience, Amelia shared, “My partnership with Bridge of Hope and my Case Manager meant dignity for me. I didn’t feel like a charity case. They gave me the tools I needed, and my partnership with my case manager felt more like a friendship or mentorship.”
Towards the end of 2021, Amelia received a promotion at her job and is now making over $70,000 a year. She is also leveraging her new role in management to assist other employees experiencing domestic violence. Amelia stated, “I just needed some help out of an unfortunate situation.” Bridge of Hope provided the support, guidance, and encouragement that Amelia needed to get on the right track.
During her last months with Bridge of Hope, Amelia has continued to work hard to pay off final debts and build up savings. Reflecting on her experience, Amelia shared this story,
“When I was in second grade, I went to a birthday party at Disneyland. We got stuck on the “It’s a Small World” ride. For nearly two hours, the song kept playing, and the puppets’ heads just kept spinning around, and there was water rushing around us.
Finally, a man came and grabbed our hands and helped us off the ride. That’s how it felt when I was going through the abuse and about to lose my home, and that’s what I see in others when they’re in the same type of abusive situation. They’re just stuck, and the song is going, and the heads are spinning and water is rushing on both sides of you. Everything is chaos. Bridge of Hope gave me a hand and helped me get off the ride and leave the chaos.”