Ama and her husband came to America in hopes of a better life and greater opportunities. But for Ama, it was a frightening time in which she found herself totally dependent on her husband. Ama spoke very little English, had no friends or family in her new country and often found herself on the bad end of her husband’s temper.
After several years of physical and verbal abuse, Ama could no longer tolerate her husband’s mistreatment. Following a particularly violent attack, Ama called the police, who referred her to a domestic violence shelter. For several weeks, she and her son lived in fear of being forced to return home.
Soon after, Ama was accepted into Community Lodgings’ Transitional Housing Program. It was a turning point in her life that she says allowed her a new start. Ama stayed in the transitional housing program for just over one year. During that time, she received weekly case management to help her move forward on the path to self-sufficiency. She worked with an employment coach to find a job and attended workshops that helped her to learn how to manage her money.
After a few months she was promoted and over the course of the year she was promoted twice more, ultimately becoming the general manager of a retail store.
She also began taking English language classes to improve her language skills. To cope with the stress and depression of a pending divorce and custody battle, she participated in bi-weekly therapy sessions. Parenting classes helped to reinforce positive parenting skills.
“Community Lodgings made me a strong woman”, Ama said. “My case manager, Charlyne was like a mother to me.” Ama says that during her stay she learned things her mom did not teach her like how to get organized, how to take care of her household and that she was worthy of a loving and peaceful relationship.
Through therapy, Ama realized that she had fallen into the cycle of abuse. Having grown up in an abusive household, Ama thought abuse was something a wife must tolerate. She had to learn to overcome negative thinking patterns and to believe in herself.
Ama was determined to save as much as she could so that she and her children could have a stable life and a decent place to live. One of the happiest days of her life came when she signed the lease to her new apartment.
Today, Ama is enrolled in a nursing program at her local community college. Her child is thriving and she has since remarried. Ama says that the life she has today is far better from the life she had before Community Lodgings.
“Community Lodgings gave me a fresh start and changed everything about my life,” Ama declared.