From Melinda, Counsellor/Advocate:
The women and children motivate me to have the passion, drive and energy to continue to do this work.
There have been many successes but one that comes to mind is a woman who came to the shelter because she was being exploited and abused by her employer. She was working as a nanny, and the only options open to her were to either return to the Philippines or find someone who would continue to employ her.
I was able to assist her find someone in the community who offered her a position as live-in nanny, which allowed her to have an income, to become a citizen and make connections in the community. This connection was made because of my passion and advocacy .
I know what it feels like to suffer abuse. I was an abused wife for ten years and the abuse NEVER stops. I do this job because I can relate with the women. I can motivate women to be strong and make a new life for themselves.
My best memory is when I connected with a woman who had lost all hope of stabilizing again. I was able to offer counselling that moved her from her "helpless situation" (her words), to keeping her job, her car (which she would have lost if she had quit her job as she was contemplating), and started the process of going back to school to pursue the career of her dreams.
I do this work because I am passionate about it and have a commitment to the women and children I serve.
The memories I treasure are when I witness women and children being transformed from Day 1 at Interim Place to the time they leave to continue their transition feeling safe, confident and worthy.