With your help, the Hope Starts Here Campaign will advance LifeWire’s mission to prevent and end domestic violence by providing an additional 25 families with safe, accessible housing and wrap-around services each year and by providing a pathway to permanent housing for hundreds of survivor families into the future. Please read below for stories of the survivor families who have reached safety and healing through the services that you will help us grow.
Lisa lived in her abusive partner’s car for months with her teenage daughter and infant son. She desperately wanted to get sober and provide her kids with a safer and more stable life. But Lisa was financially dependent upon her partner, who sabotaged her attempts to leave and recover from substance use. When she defended herself physically, Lisa found herself arrested and facing criminal charges for assault.
After being referred to LifeWire’s transitional housing, Lisa found the stability she needed to get sober and learn healthy relationship and parenting skills. Sharon, a LifeWire Homelessness Services Advocate, shared, “Lisa worked with advocates every day to learn about herself and become stronger.” After two years at LifeWire, Lisa and her kids moved into their own apartment.
Without Hope Starts Here, survivors like Lisa, who are recovering from domestic violence and substance use while parenting, would have no other access to housing.
Andressa sought asylum in the U.S. with her 5-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son after fleeing her abusive partner and gang violence in Honduras. The abuse resumed after her partner followed them to the U.S. When Andressa became pregnant, she fled again. Lacking income, the family stayed with relatives, on the street, and in a shelter where no one spoke Spanish. The family was malnourished, the children were acting out, and the little boy had an untreated dog bite.
When the family arrived at LifeWire’s shelter, Andressa was relieved to have a Spanish-speaking advocate who helped the family receive medical care and apply for TANF benefits. LifeWire paid for an attorney to help with Andressa’s asylum case, which allowed her to apply for a work permit. Andressa received mental health counseling and parenting support from LifeWire. The family has moved into a subsidized apartment, and Andressa is looking for work and learning how to drive. The baby is six months old and doing well, while Andressa and the other children are healthy and feeling much safer.
Without Hope Starts Here, survivors like Andressa who lack income and have significant safety and security concerns would have no other access to housing.
After five years of abuse, Julie and her three children fled her violent husband. In 2018, she had major surgery, and she lost her job. During this time, her ex-husband stalked her relentlessly, threatened her life, and severely injured her jaw and ankle. Julie and her children had to change phone numbers and continuously move to stay safe. Many shelters will not accept young adults or teen boys, and because her daughters were young adults and her son was a teenager, Julie could not find a shelter where they could all stay together to heal and recover. For several months, the four of them lived in her truck on the north side of King County. She was terrified for her life and her family’s safety, and they were terrified for her.
In 2019, Julie was referred to LifeWire. At LifeWire, we prioritize serving survivors in our community who face the greatest safety risks and housing barriers. Because of Julie’s high lethality risk, medical needs, lack of income, and children’s ages, she fit the priorities for LifeWire’s emergency shelter. Since accessing LifeWire’s services, Julie has worked with an advocate to file a Domestic Violence Protection Order against her ex-husband, gained income through TANF, filed for unemployment, and has begun seeking medical care for her jaw and ankle – which will need surgery this year. Today, her daughters are working, her son is finishing high school, and Julie is finally able to think about what safe, permanent housing might look like in the future.
With LifeWire’s compassionate services and safe housing, survivors like Julie and her family can find safety, hope, and build a life free from domestic violence.