Shanna’s journey has not been easy , but through her resilience and perseverance, it has been successful. In hearing Shanna’s story, she says her success is due to Ellen, her case manager, and the help she received through the Bridge Housing Program.
“It’s been a very tough journey. There were plenty of times when I thought maybe I wasn’t doing enough or maybe I’m not going to make it out of here, or maybe I am going to end up back at the shelter.”
Despite these fears, Shanna showed her resilience. She overcame the obstacles in her path and kept pushing forward.
While she was a resident at Bell Family Shelter, Shanna was given an application for the Bell’s Bridge Housing Program. It changed her life. It meant she would move from the 30-day emergency shelter into a transitional apartment where she could stay up to one year. She would have ongoing staff support, and time.
“I am going to say with the help of Ellen, she really encouraged me, and made sure I was on my game to expedite through the program, she really put forth a lot of effort. Honestly, I don’t think I would have been as successful without her help.”
As the pieces started coming together, it was still a challenge. Shanna reflected, “I felt like I was not getting anywhere, and I was going through a depression. Ellen helped me, even to clean up my housing, she really got me together.”
“There were times when she didn’t have to do things, but she really went out of her way. She did a lot of different things for me to make sure that I was successful and that I was going to gain stability when I left. I am really grateful that I had her as a caseworker.”
These two women have a lot of admiration and appreciation for each other. With Shanna’s permission, Ellen shared, “She is a beautiful person, and I grew along with her. She has been successful in ways that no one else in her family has been. That is HUGE. I don’t think Shanna realizes how AMAZING she is and all the work she did.”
The Bridge Housing Program helps families to rebuild their lives, securing permanent housing while addressing and removing barriers to be stable in their housing. This may include addressing previous evictions, mental health, and substance abuse issues, income issues, and more.
Ellen, said, “I love that Bell works to meet the needs of the community. If the needs change, then Bell creates programs to meet those needs,” she added, “Clients aren’t just a number on a file, they are people.”
It is Shanna’s success that really resonates with Bell’s mission. She went from a place of instability, unsure of her future, to stability, to being employed, having a safe home for her and her children. Being able to break a negative cycle and to become successful takes strength and courage.
As Shanna talked about the services she received through Bell, she said, “They gave me help when no one else would. They gave me a chance to get on my feet and to get stable.”