I always felt really safe at the Arise. I felt nothing bad would happen to us there. The key cards (to unlock doors into and within the Shelter) made me feel safe. I remember how I would take my brother and sister to play in the child care room – I wanted them to feel safe too. I remember Miss Godie and how caring she was but she also laid down the law in there.

Then, after a few days when I started to get used to my new home, staff members offered me services and referrals to other agencies. They helped me to do things such as file a PFA – a protection from abuse order, sign up for welfare and child support and even obtain a lawyer. They sat with me in court for the PFA. My children and I quickly began counseling and then I got a job. Within several months, I was able to move into a house with the help of the Arise through the Housing Authority.

Through your genuine expression of concern for my safety and the safety of my children, I have gained strength and confidence to persevere during dangerous and very difficult situations. Each of you have given time, effort and support to me in ways that could never be repaid. The reality of your involvement has been my continued existence. I am confident that the actions, influences and voices of Lawrence County Women’s Shelter have been largest contribution factor in the outcome of this situation. Without your assistance and representation this case would have gone unheard, unnoticed and unattended until something terrible occurred.

A therapist at Cray Youth and Family Services writes – ” I was humbled by a group of phenomenal young women who, while in our program, wrote essays regarding agencies they thought might benefit from a $200 prize. Some of these young women are exceling and some are struggling and in need of the agencies they wrote about. One of the young women who wrote an essay about the Arise asked to speak at our annual dinner. She simply said, “Thank you, I am here (Arise) it feels like home”.

With my utmost respect and sincere appreciation, I offer my thanks to all of you. I am working toward a degree in Social Work, so that one day I can look into the teary eyes of a broken woman and tell her without hesitation that she can have the life she dreams about; she can live without fear; she can find the strength to do it, because I too, was once a teary-eyed broken woman.

I grew up in an abusive home as child, but yet I missed all the obvious signs when it came to my relationships as young adult. Slowly, I began to participate in groups at the Arise and realized that everyone had their very own special story but we all had something in common. We were all victims. I wanted to break this vicious cycle! I didn’t want my child to grow up in the same environment that I had. I didn’t want to be in the same position ten or twenty years from now trying to put my life back together. This new determination gave me a strive and I decided I needed to find a place to go back to school.

I encourage everyone to let others help. There are people everywhere who want nothing more but the best for you and will stand by your side through the entire process. Whether it’s friends, family, a church group or a wonderful agency like the Arise, know that there are people who genuinely care about you and want to help.

Through the counseling and support I received at the Arise, I began to realize that could build a new life for us. The depression I had lived with throughout my marriage began to dissipate and I began to feel empowered and optimistic about the future. I enrolled back in college and have been named to the Dean’s List each semester.

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