Lean on me: Tara’s Story
July 29, 2020
When you come from a place of never asking for help and doing everything on your own, it feels alien to allow people to step in and assist you.
After *Tara’s mother gave her up at a young age, Tara was raised in foster care. Following a challenging childhood, Tara got married at a young age. At first, her husband was a loving husband, but addiction led to abuse and Tara fled with two small children and another on the way.
Tara has always tried to do things on her own. She opted to not use government assistance and moved to Colorado to be close to extended family and started a job. She struggled but made ends meet. She found an apartment with a landlord that required her to pay three months’ rent upfront. Shortly after moving in, she discovered an infestation of termites in the unit and the landlord was unwilling to take care of this problem. He refused to refund her any of the money that she had paid. When she wouldn’t pay another month’s rent, she was officially evicted from her apartment.
Unfortunately, Tara’s challenges are common among low-income renters. Landlords often take thousands of dollars from tenants and fail to deliver on their promises. Once someone has an eviction on their record, it makes it nearly impossible to obtain fair and affordable housing in the future.
Ultimately, Tara and her children ended up sleeping between their car and a homeless shelter. Tara preferred the shelter, but sometimes wouldn’t have enough money to drive back and forth between the shelter and her job, so Tara and her three children would sleep in the car.
Then Tara found Bridge of Hope. When our team first met with her, we could tell that Tara was resourceful and tenacious. These are qualities that we love to see when moms apply to our program.
With the support of our community, Tara was able to get a safe apartment for herself and her kids. She continued working as a pre-school teacher and when the Coronavirus shut down the school, she quickly applied and was hired at a local grocery store. Tara’s greatest victory is that she has been able to pay off $3500 of debt while in the program, which has truly given her a fresh start.
It was hard for Tara to reach out and ask for help. The idea of getting any kind of assistance from Bridge of Hope was foreign and very humbling for her. Her case manager said,
“Tara has never needed much help from me, she just figures things out on her own. She’s just so resourceful!”
Tara is also extremely generous and always thinking about others. She regularly gives food to the homeless in her community, keeps an eye on the kids at the neighborhood playground, and has recently befriended a neighbor with mental health issues in need of encouragement. After she graduates from Bridge of Hope at the end of July, she wants to help other families in the program. We celebrate all of Tara’s accomplishments during her time with Bridge of Hope and wish her well as she and her three children move onto their next phase of life.
*Details have been changed to protect the family’s privacy.