My name is Betty. I am survivor of domestic violence that spans over 30 years. I escaped on November 25th, 2018 from Nevada to come to Idaho to start my new life. I arrived here with two suitcases and not knowing anyone in the Boise area. I got off the plane and went into the Intermountain Hospital 30 day in-patient program. You see, I am also a recovering alcoholic and addict. I cried for hours not knowing where I was or where my life was headed. I was told about the WCA and their programs to help survivors of domestic violence and decided to give them a call.
I got on their waiting list and finally received a call to enter the emergency shelter. I attended every class and group that I could and talked with every client advocate. My case manager referred me to the financial empowerment program. After graduating from the financial empowerment program, I was able to meet with my financial coach weekly to address my housing barriers due to credit. I had a terrible credit score and several outstanding accounts in collections. We were able to work on a plan to start paying down those debts. Because of my participation with the financial empowerment program, I was also able to receive a recommendation to attend a job training program through Create Common Good and graduated with a Kitchen Management Certification, as well as a Kitchen Certification.
Once it was time to transition out of the WCA residential shelter, I had addressed the barriers on my credit report and was able to obtain my first apartment on my own in so many years. I was also able to improve my credit score to over 600 in just over a year and was also able to purchase a used vehicle. I have learned to budget and save and it is paying off. I have given up things that cost money and replaced them with things that are free, like walking the greenbelt or free admission day at the museums.
Fast forward to today, and I am now getting ready to complete my third semester of college at CWI and just recently opened my very own individual bank account for the first time in my life. I have been able to pay ahead my rent, utilities, and other bills. My next goal is to open a secured credit card and continue to build my credit, as well as attending a home buyer education class and start working on building up the assets needed to purchase my own home in the next 3-5 years.
It was important for me to share my successes over the past several years with my friends and the staff at the WCA, so I shared the picture and short story with them.
“I have had this plant for two years. It was almost dead when I left the residential shelter at the WCA and moved into my own place. I can’t tell you the gratitude I have today because this plants represents how far I have come and now it looks like it is going to bloom. Change is inevitable, and I am embracing what is coming my way! Feeling Blessed!”
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