This is an excerpt from a letter written by Yolanda to the staff at New Beginnings.
When I think back to the first time I called New Beginnings, I was in the worst situation I had ever been in in my life. I was beyond terrified. I had been strangled, beaten, and bruised. I had nothing left—no place to live and no job. I was far from all of my family, and what friends I did have left I was isolated from. My abuser destroyed numerous phones so I couldn’t call for help or get a job to save up some money.
Even though my abuser ended up in jail, I was still terrified of him. His friends and family harassed me and blamed me for his behavior and incarceration. They threatened me and even went into my apartment and destroyed what little belongings I had left.
I felt nothing but fear and hopelessness.
When I called New Beginnings, an advocate told me that I would have a safe place to stay, and that I wouldn’t be out on the street. I can’t even begin to express the relief I felt. Every day I was there, I felt hope. I felt encouraged, respected, and safe.
I learned so much during my stay at New Beginnings. I attended counseling services and even did mock interviews when I was looking for a job. I am now working at a nonprofit, all because I had the support from everyone at New Beginnings who never lost confidence in me. I have also learned a new set of skills, including how to be assertive when setting boundaries. I have gained so much knowledge for the rest of my life.