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Jane Doe

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Second Step, Inc.
April 29, 2011

When I decided to leave my abuser, I found out about a place called The Second Step. In accordance with the shelter protocol, I interviewed with many transitional housing programs, but their philosophy did not fit how I wanted to proceed with my life. I declined their offers of housing, which was unheard of. I took a chance on waiting for an opening at The Second Step. I read and reread their mission statement: “a way from violence to self-reliance” and I knew this is where I would begin to rebuild.

What I did not know was to what extent. While at The Second Step, I returned to work and soon decided I was capable of more. The staff encouraged me to do away with the shame of domestic violence and homelessness. The Second Step helped me find my dignity and account for the choices I had made. I so much needed to be determined for my child, who had given me reason and purpose for life … to believe and achieve, step up to the plate, and be all that I could be. The Second Step allowed me to do that and more.

I lived at The Second Step for 18 months. I placed my trust in the staff. I lived with a group of women who began as strangers and ended as some of my closest friends. I began to think of myself as a survivor. I enrolled in school and continued to work full time. Many days I did not know how I could keep up the pace, but I believed that the worst had come and gone. I was awarded scholarships from The Sunshine Ladies Foundation, The Liz Kirsch Opportunities Fund, and from an anonymous donor.

I moved on from The Second Step equipped with the tools to live free of abuse and to achieve success as a mother, a student, a professional, and a mentor to others.

Today, I am a college graduate with my bachelor’s degree in Human Services. I am a paid consultant and family liaison for a variety of national organizations dedicated to ending homelessness. My daughter is healthy, happy, and growing.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my life (see above)

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

increase their staff, so they can serve more people.

MY ROLE:
Client Served & I lived in The Second Step's transitional housing and after moving into my own apartment I also received services from them through their Community Program.