My Nonprofit Reviews
Review for Second Step, Inc., Newtonville, MA, USA
The most difficult thing I have ever done in my life was to find the strength to get out. It’s certainly not easy and people aren’t as sympathetic as you’d think they would be. I became the “abused” woman at work that people whispered about. My neighbors now waved from a safe distance. No matter how far we think we’ve progressed, there is still such stigma attached to domestic violence. I know about this stigma because I experienced it firsthand.
By the time my husband was ordered to leave our home, our finances were in shambles. We fell behind on our mortgage. Bill collectors were relentless. The house needed to be sold. Here I was at 50, about to become divorced and quite possibly, homeless. I had no idea what to do next. I soon found out that there are few places, if any, for women my age to turn to for help. Luckily, this is when I was referred to The Second Step.
At first, I was hesitant to talk about what was happening. I was so scared and too afraid to trust…anyone. I was also feeling numb from loss. It was indeed a slow process. I knew that eventually my physical wounds would heal….but not so sure the emotional ones would - ever.
At The Second Step, I was met by open arms and gentle and understanding hearts. It was in the dead of winter when I explained to Carole Thompson that I was living in a house that was freezing. My gas had been shut off for about a month. I was using a space heater in one room only for warmth. I had no place to cook and had no hot water. I could see my breath in front of me….and I was inside my house. I showered at the gym and prayed I wouldn’t run into anyone I knew. I was also getting sick. I was having problems with my blood sugar from not being able to eat regular meals. Carole quickly arranged to have my gas turned back on. Carole also made it possible for me to get some groceries now that I had gas to cook with. I didn’t think I’d ever stop crying those tears of relief.
In the spring, a buyer appeared out of nowhere and agreed to purchase my home. The bank had agreed to a short sale and I had to get out – quickly. I am quite positive that I would not have been able to find a safe place to live if it weren’t for The Second Step.
I made an appointment to see the cutest little apartment in world. I was so excited…it was located in a different city, on a street that was tucked away, in a safe area…with good strong doors. I knew that I could afford to pay the rent. But you know what’s awful about finding the cutest little apartment in the world? Realizing that you cannot possibly come up with a first, last and security deposit – each equal to one month’s rent.
When people ask, “Why don’t you just leave?” This is one of the many reasons why we don’t “just leave.” The Second Step recognizes this reality. I remember feeling so defeated. I called Carole and explained what the circumstances were. Without missing a beat, Carole had names of several different resources ready and waiting for me including help for my security deposit. Carole didn’t stop there though….she referred me to several more places that offered help. Before I knew it, I was moving boxes into that cute little apartment