SAVE’s mission is to strengthen every individual and family we serve with the knowledge and support needed to break the cycle of domestic violence and build healthier lives.
We believe that every person has the right to live in peace. Every day we provide shelter, support, and educational opportunities for individuals and families so they may end the cycle of abuse, heal, and have the freedom to reach their potential.
Recently, a survivor who resided in our safe house sent an email of thanks to our team. It's a testiment to SAVE's commitment the survivors we serve.
"I just want to start off by saying that I have nothing but immense gratitude to the SAVE organization. They truly live by their name because in my case SAVE Saved my life. I truly believe that if it wasn’t because of me ending up in Save I would not be writing this letter, and my kids would have lost a mom.
When I arrived to the SAVE house I was at a point and a mind set of “I am done” “This is it" “I was not made to be happy” it was one thing after another. Since I was a child my father was physically abusive. My state of mind was always in a fight of flight mode, so it was very natural for my relationships to be the same. I was in an emotionally and physically abuse relationship with my kids Dad for 10 years which ultimately led me to be homeless when I decided to leave.
I have been homeless for the past 4 years and not for the lack of trying. I had been in previous shelters that only gave you a 30-60 day stay so I would end up going back to my abuser or toughing it out in my car. When I came to SAVE house I was at a very suicidal state of mind I dreaded life I hated my life I just saw no point for me to keep on going. My daughter eventually ended up living with her aunt; my son did not want to let me go he told me that he didn’t care to tough it out with me in a car. So that’s where I lived, my abuser (kids Dad) would make me literally beg him if I needed some help which kept Me in his claws. My son though I guess you could say that that tiny string kept me going a little longer, but I still kept on thinking that if I would just disappear my son would get over it eventually because I couldn’t provide for him and I thought so low of myself. I always thought I was worthless because that is what I was told by my father and my abuser.
I guess God knew that I had reached the very bottom.
When I came to SAVE house, immediately I felt the difference from other shelters I had been to and I will always be grateful to these beautiful ladies Heather, Kelly, and Shakila, Cynthia. I truly felt a sense that they genuinely cared, I was received by the loving hugs of Shakila and that was my first dose of medicine, a hug. Along with the love and respect, she has for the girls at the shelter. But the first couple of weeks I dreaded waking up and continued to contemplate ending my life and that is when Kelly started to notice that I was in a dark place. she picked it up she was always watching out for me she made me feel like she was a friend, a peer, just someone who cares, but I held back, I did not want to be to open with her about my plans to kill myself because I did not want her stop my plans. She wanted to help me, she kept on telling me that there was a way out, so I finally opened up to her. Kelly went with me to the hospital and waited and supported me and that was when I started my road to recovery. After that every week I would meet with her and she would encourage me, we would plan goals, she helped me schedule appointments with phycologist and Doctors, and get new medications.
So during this time I stayed with SAVE two times. So I believe I was at the shelter for 4 months the first time and I ventured out thinking I could do this. and I ended up in an empty abandoned office space, fleeing from another abuser, my mental state was so fragile, I was in a car accident, my kids weren’t with me, And because of my depression and anxiety, I lost my job. and had once again no were to go, this part to me was very touching because I really do not have any body to go to, I am currently now restoring my relationship with my family but in reality SAVE at the moment is my family. I emailed Kelly and immediately she told me she had gotten an uber and a hotel and I could go back to the shelter. No judgments, no extensive questioning, no saying I was just here and couldn’t come back, just that ok we can help get you out of that environment.
And this time when I came back Kelly, Shakila told me to take things easy not to rush to heal and get to the root of things, because I was back to square one. I wanted to die, I could not function. Now currently during my second stay at SAVE we worked together these past 7 months. I feel that I kinda went through a rehabilitation process. I was allowed time. The first thing was to get a diagnosis and find the correct medication for my depression and that took a while to find the correct one that worked for me, I can’t thank Kelly Heather Shakila Cynthia enough for giving me this time of healing that I desperately needed, in my previous experience’s in other shelters I was never given that time. Every meeting with Kelly we would make plans and it felt good to accomplish our goals and she was always so encouraging to me so much. finally I badly wanted a position processing orders in a clinic, but thought it to be so so impossible I would think ,no I am to dumb for that, but Kelly could of said , you know what? Just get a job, and move on out, like most shelters would to get me out fast, but she didn’t do that. she encouraged me to work hard and that if that’s what I wanted , to go for it, she also said it would be a good job background for my future career and to not settle for less to keep reaching higher goals, and I did, I ended up getting my full time position! That really boosted my self-esteem I was so happy and thanked them tremendously! Since then Things were looking up, SAVE allowed me to pay off debts and look for housing. Now I am in my OWN apartment with my children through the LINKAGES program! Looking forward to a better life!
Now that I experienced the feeling of being in a peaceful environment that is what I desire daily to be happy healthy with my children, even though I am still working each day on my mental health recovery, I know that I can always count with my family that is SAVE. They have inspired me to also want to help other woman, they became role models to me ,they inspire me daily and I can’t thank them enough for everything they have done, they changed my the course of my entire life its truly truly amazing!!"
*This email was edited to protect the survivor's identity.