Catherine’s House is not just a house; it was my home. I walked through the door after being discharged from a medical facility. I had been in an abusive marriage for 17 years. During that time, I was a financially secure stay-at-home mom until my divorce 14 years ago. I suffered from clinical and situational depression. I had no job, no money, no food and no place to live – other than my car.
At admission to Catherine’s House, I was given a beautiful room, access to bathroom and kitchen facilities, and food to prepare for myself. That took care of my basic immediate needs. Most importantly, I was given the emotional and educational support I needed to start my life anew. The opportunity to meet with a licensed social worker helped me to see how the choices I made affected my life and why I made those choices. Previously, abusive relationships destroyed my self-worth and my ability to make good decisions. The counseling sessions, case management and group sessions gave me the necessary tools to become independent. I learned that I am a strong, hard-working, and a compassionate person.
The most important practical skill I learned was time management and budgeting, specifically how to determine financial needs verses wants. Now, I am paying all of my own living expenses! I am also gainfully employed, and working with a former Catherine’s House resident who also successfully completed the program.
I will tell you one thing that you must know. There are women from all walks of life that pass through Catherine’s House. Some will take full advantage of the opportunities given to them. Others may not, but I guarantee that those who don’t will come back to the lessons they learned at Catherine’s House during some point in their lives. Lastly, special thanks to those who have donated to Catherine’s House. Please know that you have touched someone’s life and helped to make it so much better.