Jessica & Kaleb
Everybody has a story and this is mine. My name is Jessica and I moved into Warren Village with my seven month old son, Kaleb, in October of 2005. Prior to finding my way to Warren Village, I was in an abusive relationship with my son’s father. I left when I finally had to call the police. I packed a bin full of Kaleb’s things and left. I had no job, no money and nowhere to go with a three-month-old baby. A friend told me about Warren Village and since I had nothing to lose, I gave it a shot.
I knew I had been given an extraordinary opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it so I started school in January of 2006. I was able to focus on my education because I knew I had a safe home I could afford and convenient, quality childcare for my son while I was in school.
A couple months after returning to school, I was diagnosed with a severe autoimmune disease that required radiation treatment. I lost a lot of weight and was drained of energy during my treatment. There were times that brushing my teeth was too difficult a task. However, I was strong willed and I wasn’t going to let a diagnosis stall my progress. I continued to attend school 40 hours a week and cared for my son with the energy I had left.
Something happened to me at Warren Village. I was a victim of circumstance – abusive relationship, debilitating disease – but I chose to fight through it and I became a survivor of circumstance. My experience doesn’t define me; it’s just part of my history.
The resources available among the community at Warren Village are priceless. Anything you need, the on-site family advocates can connect you. The advocates are there to assist in home ownership, resume writing or applying for scholarships for school. If there’s information you need for your future, they will create that link for you.
Community didn’t only exist with the advocates. I formed bonds with the other single parents in the building. We would have dinner together and help each other with childcare needs. The relationships that were forged within the walls of Warren Village provided an incredible amount of emotional support that helped carry me through.
I took advantage of the United Way’s IDA program that gave me a chance to put money away and gain a 4 to 1 match. I was then able to use that money to invest in my own education and my future.
I graduated in December 2006 and completed a year-long apprenticeship before leaving Warren Village in October 2007. Continuing my education lead me to where I am today – running a successful small business. I am confident, healthy, and happy. I am proud to say that Kaleb is also happy and so smart. He scores the highest marks in school. Because I found Warren Village, he has always felt safe and loved.
Warren Village is a once in a lifetime opportunity that enabled me to focus on my education and raising my son. I was able to take the time to heal my body, my spirit and my mind. I experienced a quantum leap of growth that lead me to self-sufficiency.