What My Son Learned
The scariest part about being homeless was wondering how it will affect my son. How do I make sure he has everything he needs, enjoys his childhood and doesn’t worry about where we’re going to sleep at night? I found out about Chattanooga Room in the Inn when I was crying to my case worker that I didn’t have anywhere to go. She gave me the number and I said ‘Oh, no! Shelters are for drug addicts and women in abusive relationships.’ After seeing the facility for myself, it changed my mind and then it changed my life.
While we were at CRITI, I worked two jobs back to back every day while my son was in day care and with his father. By 10 p.m. I’d put him to bed, do my night chores, shower, get a bite to eat and go to sleep, ready to do it all again the next day.
Chattanooga Room in the Inn is often mistaken for a domestic violence shelter. All women who qualify for the program must be out of immediate danger and drug-free for 30 days. Every client has a self-sufficiency plan for employment, permanent housing, life skills development and physical and emotional health.
After I graduated from the program it was like the heavens opened up for me. I got a job with full benefits, great pay, bonuses and vacation time. I was able to buy a car that’s almost paid off now. I’m on no government assistance, no welfare or food stamps. I eventually made it to supervisor because I worked really, really hard!
Because of where I had been I tried to be the best trainer at T-Mobile. When people started to ask for me, that’s when I knew I was doing well. I still use what I learned at CRITI. When I get stressed at work I write down my priorities and quit worrying about anything that’s not on that list.