“People don’t know how easy it is to make bad decisions.”
Stacie moved to Colorado to make a new life for herself with a newborn son and fiancé after losing her home to Hurricane Katrina. For a time, she was happy and somewhat stable. Then things began to fall apart. When Stacie’s fiancé pushed her from a moving car she says, “That’s when I knew I had to leave.”
This was not her first experience with abuse. Stacie had been abused as a child and the most recent abuse set off a series of emotions that resulted in her being diagnosed with PTSD. This led to her leaving her position as a caregiver and ultimately qualifying for disability. During this time she turned to alcohol.
She was in an accident that totaled her vehicle, leaving her without transportation. She was so overwhelmed that she surrendered her youngest child, River, to the foster care system while she tried to recover. Stacie says, “I knew I had to keep it together. I had to get my son back.” She worked hard and was reunited with River, but a series of events, in addition to a lifetime of domestic abuse, resulted in Stacie and River, becoming homeless.
If her life was not already difficult enough, she became a victim of identity theft. The theft made it appear as if she was earning more income than allowed, resulting in the loss of her disability income. During this time, the family had to rely on $500 per month from child support, which led to being evicted from their home.
The family spent months in the RJ Montgomery Shelter while Stacie tried to correct the issues with identity theft. Once she resolved the situation, they motel-hopped for almost a year, because they could not get an apartment due to the eviction.
Stacie’s life spiraled out of control and although she had a regular income, she was making bad financial decisions that kept her family in crisis. “People don’t know how easy it is to make bad decisions. It’s real easy to say, let’s go splurge right now because in three days we are going to be eating peanut butter and jelly anyway.” When she found Catholic Charities, her life began to change for the better.
Stacie met with a Family Connections Family Life Coach who helped her get a housing voucher. Once Stacie found an apartment, Catholic Charities helped her overcome her eviction and move in, providing bedding, food, and small appliances. Stacie also received a car that had been donated, which allowed her to begin to fully “live her life.”
Part of Stacie’s success is the support of her mentor team through Family Connections. They help with social, emotional, and financial planning support. Stacie says, “One of the biggest things that the Family Mentor Alliance does is to make sure that God willing, it [becoming homeless] doesn’t happen again. You have people that care. That’s the biggest gift in all of this.”
Now stably housed, Stacie continued to work with Catholic Charities and her mentor team with the goal to move forward with a normal and productive life.
At Catholic Charities, we respect everyone who comes to us for help. Many are working toward a fresh start in life. So while their stories are true, client names and images may have changed to protect their privacy.