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A Family's Determination

A Family’s Determination

The moment Shelly and her children left her abuser and entered Harbor House, she felt intense anxiety. She was in tears the entire first week and worried she might never come out of the darkness. But what happened next started a transformation that Shelly said allowed her to be present in the moment and to have hope that her family would thrive again.

When Harbor House received Shelly’s crisis call, the staff immediately made plans to accommodate the family in two rooms due to the size. But Shelly wanted to make sure there was room for others, and the six of them found a way to fit into one room.

“My children and I were able to share both love and laughter together in that small living space.” Shelly told Adult Counselor, Jessica Wingler, LMSW.

“I could be a Mom again. There were still days it was hard to imagine how this was all going to be okay. But, at Harbor House it was clear that they would help us facilitate the change process for my children and restore our lives together.”

Jessica learned that Shelly and her family had no car and had special medical needs.

The staff at Harbor House had to become very creative with resources. They found transportation for the children to and from school thanks to a collaboration with USD 259. The youngest child had a milk allergy and Jessica was able to send a staff member to obtain food items that met dietary stipulations.

 “As a mother and as a family, this has been one of our most beautiful journeys yet – our journey in togetherness.” -Shelly

This rapid resolution was only possible due to the support and resources given to Harbor House by donors, volunteers and friends; support and resources that families so often lack.

As the family overcame their barriers, the moments of joy, peace and health increased.

Shelly said, “Without programs like Harbor House, a lot of people would have no other option. I would not be alive today.”

Shelly and her children were able to find permanent housing. On moving day Jessica was by their side, making sure things went smoothly.

“It was the best thing to have the staff right next to me, offering me words of encouragement. They went the extra mile.” Shelly said, “We created a family at Harbor House, with each staff member holding a special role.”

Together we are providing healing and hope for families and meeting their unique needs.