Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Turning Point Shelter: Turning the Beat Around for Women & Children

Only once, in a lifetime, will a journalist be granted a story of true empowerment, change, love, and success that involves single mothers in a shelter.  So many times, we hear about the tragic stories of women in shelters and how they fall through the cracks of society without even being notice or making a change in society.  However, this story is different from the rest because it is going to tell you the everyday struggles and success stories of single mothers, in the shelter and how they are making a difference in society, thereafter.  

            Turning Point Shelter for women and children is a place where young single mothers who are escaping domestic violence and other abusive situations, come to raise their children, in a safe environment.  They offer a two year program, which this program allows for new beginnings for both the women and their children. This program allows single mothers the time to developed critical life skills, a chance to get a college education, and prepare them to live on their own.  

            Upon being at Turning Point, I was granted access to interview one of the mothers there, the director, and the pastor about how they feel the program has helped the women also I asked what is needs to be added to grant more success on a larger scale for other single mothers who are experiencing the same thing.

            Abhaya (meaning fearless, which is not her real name) is one of the single mother who is currently in the program that I had a chance to interview. Abhaya’s story starts when she was in high school. She and her mother had a frosty relationship that resulted in her running away twice before she got pregnant. It was at 17 that she got pregnant and she didn’t want to tell her mother because she knew that an unexpected pregnancy would not make their relationship as mother and daughter any better. Nevertheless, her summer work counselor who knew that she was pregnant told her to tell her mother about her pregnancy. Abhaya was understandably not eager to tell her mother given their current relationship status. But when Abhaya did not tell her mother the school counselor took it upon herself and told Abhaya’s aunt. This resulted in Abhaya’s aunt asking her to take a pregnancy test, which came back positive and with those results made her mother angry.

            At first the pregnancy brought her and her mother closer together, but once her twins were born that chanced. Her mother soon become jealous of the attention she was giving the twins and as a result of this her mother kicked her out of the house with just three week old twins. Abhaya was able to get back into the house with the help from the father of her children. However, this was a temporary fix did not last long because Abhaya’s mother kicked her out for the second and final time when the twins were one year old. At that time she was graduating from high school and the high school counselor gave her information about the Turning Point Shelter Program in which was thought of as a great fit for Abhaya and her family.    After filling out the paper work and getting accepted into the program Abhaya told me how her life has changed since she moved into Turning Point Shelter.

            “Turning Point Program has given me a peace where I know that my children are safe. It has given me the head start that I need to improve myself, not only as a person, but also as mother. Since, I have been here I have taken classes to become a better parent to my children, learned how to managed money, a bank account, and how to make healthier choices, when it comes to romantic partners, family, and friends. This program has also allowed me the time to go to college and get a degree, as well as get a job that will enable me in the future to be able to take care of myself and my children.  This program has given me stability I need to make it in the world.”

~ Nadia Johnson, W.O.W Radio Blogger

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