Trigger Warning: Domestic Violence
Imagine someone hits you so hard in the face that all your front teeth are knocked out of your mouth. Imagine that the person who hit you was your partner, the person with whom you shared a life, a family, and a home. Imagine the impact of this violence on your children.
What would you do?
Samara faced this exact situation in her life, and she knew that she and her children had to escape. She took her daughters and fled, and the family became homeless for three months.
Then Samara came to Via Esperanza, Pathways of Hope's immediate response shelter in Anaheim. With the stability of a roof over their heads and food on their table, Samara and her children worked with their case managers to begin the lifelong process of healing from the violence they’d survived. Now Samara’s family lives in a home of their own and Samara has a brand-new smile, thanks to partnerships between Pathways of Hope and many organizations in Orange County.
Via Esperanza is funded by the Children and Family’s Commission of Orange County (CFCOC) through HomeAid, Anaheim Emergency Services Grants Program, and private funds. Our strategic partnerships create spaces where families like Samara’s can receive access to the many resources they so desperately need. Samara needed extensive dental work and, thanks to Pathways’ funding from the United Way Women’s Philanthropy Grant, she got it. The dentist removed her broken teeth and replaced them with new dentures, custom fit to ensure a comfortable bite and a happy smile.
Samara needed a home of her own and, thanks to many people working strategically together, now she has one.
We need to band together as a community to provide prevention and diversion services to help people keep a roof over their heads. We need to collaborate and advocate for families and individuals who have lost their homes. We need to ensure that no woman, like Samara, ever has to ask herself, "What do I do?" when faced with domestic violence and homelessness.
This November, I hope you will think about Samara and her bravery, determination, and strength to survive. I also hope you will remember the powerful transformations we can create when we work together to help each other. Pathways of Hope is so thankful for all the community partnerships that made Samara’s new home and happy smile possible.
As you prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this year, think about the families with no home to call their own and think about what you can do today to aid emergency housing and supportive services in our community. Together, we can make Orange County a safer, healthier, and happier place for every family.
Imagine you had the chance to change the life of a family who just lost everything.
What would you do?
HomeAid has been ending homelessness with Pathways of Hope since 1990 by developing 4 homes, adding 59 beds for homeless families. Pathways of Hope programs are also recipients of the HomeAid Essentials campaign and other HomeAid Community Outreach activities.