“I’ve been in Beecher since 2012. My experience has been up and down. I almost lost my place about four or five times. Utilities have been cut off and I haven’t had food sometimes. I’ve been stressed and depressed. I had to get over those humps. I lost my kids in 2008. I’ve been trying to get them back and getting everything in order to get them back. I’m just trying to do what I need to do to succeed and get them back. This was supposed to get me up and it’s here. Everything is coming about. The only thing that I can say is that it was a tragedy at first, but now it’s triumph. I’m glad to be where I’m at and to be able to move. I’m glad to show people that even though I got my kids taken, I can still make a turnabout. I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to do because God’s got it.
In 2008, I ended up losing my kids because of a guy, who I thought really loved me and he didn’t. I turned around and messed up. He started abusing me. I thought it was love and it wasn’t. I ended up having to get myself over that. It took me about two or three years but I got over it. I lost my apartment. I was in New Direction housing and ended up losing my apartment. I ended up being in the streets for about three or four years and then I got here in 2012. I’ve been here and have been holding it down. It’s been rocky because of the different bills that they say we have to pay extra for. We still get the help that we gotta get but sometimes it’s hard, it really is. Not only that, I’m on disability and I don’t want to be on it anymore. My master’s degree is getting ready to make me money. It’s a blessing. With that, God’s been doing everything for me by opening up so many doors. I got into hair school and I’m getting ready to graduate. I’m getting ready to move and it triumph and I got my foot in the door. It’s time to shine and show and prove that I’m still here and I still got this. I’m here and I made it. I didn’t fall.
What kept me motivated? Sometimes, I talked to my kids. I really did. I found out my son graduated and he’s going to the navy. My daughter, she sings for the St. Stephens. My other daughter sings in her elementary choir. My sister works for corrections and helps and supports me. That’s all I can say. I am a champion and that’s all that matter.
I think the new development in Beecher Terrace is going to be okay. As long as they’re going to be here and help us by showing us new opportunities and showing people that don’t know what’s going on. They’ve been showing us a lot. They just told us that we can get home ownership through the Urban League, so that’s what I plan on doing. I plan on going with the Urban League, so I can get a house. I plan on holding down my place. Not only that, I want to open up my own salon and come back and give back to my community. I wanna give back to the same community who helped and supported me by telling me that they weren’t going to let me fall and that they were going to be here with me. Ms. Ebony, Ms. Kathy and Ms. Wendy helped and supported me. They did everything they needed to do for me. They helped keep me from losing my place. Sometimes, I didn’t have money because I had to spend it on food, I had to go over there and tell them that I didn’t have it. They helped me, no matter what, to prove that they weren’t gong to let anybody fall. That’s what kept me going and happy and excited for the opportunities that’s coming.
Don’t give up on hope, faith and God. When you think that you need to throw in the towel, you don’t need to. There’s still another door that’s right there and will open, even when you see everything closed. There’s still a door that’s like, “I’m here and I got you. I’m going to make sure that you’re going to survive and succeed.” That’s motivation!” - Elizabeth, Russell