My journey began when I found the courage to leave my husband and come with my daughter to the Betty Griffin Center.

When we arrived, we were facing bigger barriers than most survivors: we spoke and understood very little English, and my daughter was deaf and had no way to communicate with others.

We came to this country as refugees, and I was seeking a better life and education for my daughter.  I had never been employed, never had a bank account and lived away from my family. I was afraid that I may not be able to make it on my own and take care of my child.

Soon after we arrived at the shelter, I began to feel safe, supported and hopeful. I enrolled my daughter in school, found employment and began taking English and sign-language classes. I obtained my first bank account and learned how to use the public transit system.

My daughter made great strides. She enjoyed going to school and quickly began to learn sign language, which allowed her to communicate with others for the first time in her life.

We were accepted into your transitional housing program.  Afterward, I got my first driver’s license and purchased my first car. The program provided me with the support and stability I needed to pursue my dreams, and the time I needed to develop a sense of self-reliance and safety. With your help, we saved the money to move in to our first apartment.

My journey is ongoing. My dream now is to own my own home and see my daughter go to college.

I’m truly amazed at how far we have come, and how we were able to overcome all the barriers facing us thanks to Betty Griffin Center.