Creating stability, breaking the cycle

Written by SAFE

For Melissa,* instability was a cornerstone of her life.

She grew up around so many types of abuse. She experienced sexual violence as a young child and witnessed physical violence between her parents. Like many teens in violent homes, she ran away.

Melissa soon found herself alone, with no housing or family. She got pregnant and then had the baby—but she was still just a child herself. She was a teen mom still hoping to finish high school while figuring out how to care for her 4-month-old daughter.

She didn’t just want to survive—she wanted to give her daughter a better life than the one she had known. With her child’s wellbeing in mind, Melissa came to SAFE. At first, she couldn’t imagine her life being restored to balance.

At first, she couldn’t imagine her life being restored to balance. But then she began meeting with a caring therapist. She enrolled (and excelled!) in our Strong Start parenting education program. She also started classes at SAFE’s on-site UT Charter School and was able to graduate high school a year early!

Although Melissa could not stay at SAFE forever, her SAFE advocates and youth care workers made sure that she and her daughter had all the transitional support they needed to continue to heal and thrive. With that support, she was able to continue making progress on her own life while building an even better life for her daughter.

This holiday season, we’d like to express our gratitude to you and all our donors for helping give families like Melissa’s a chance to build the bright futures they deserve.

*The name Melissa is a pseudonym to protect the survivor’s identity.