Cheryl had no place to go.
“A lot of shelters required you to be married or have kids with you,” Cheryl explains. “I didn’t qualify or there wasn’t room for me. I couldn’t find a way to get off the streets.”
She was left to choose between two evils: being alone on the streets or accepting help from a stranger.
Accepting help came with horrible compromises. Just to have a warm place to rest, she would be expected to trade sexual favors. And refusal wasn’t an option.
“If you don’t do anything for them, they won’t help you or they’ll hurt you,” she explains. “But being alone and on the streets is even scarier.”
Being alone made Cheryl an easy target. Her only hope for survival was to constantly be on the move.
“I had to keep walking all night just to stay safe,” she shares.
It was a lose-lose situation. Either choice made Cheryl vulnerable.
She was plagued by constant fear. Fear of being attacked, raped or worse.
Like when a man offered Cheryl a seemingly harmless ride to the nearest bus station.
“Out of the blue, he punches me in the face,” she recalls. “He grabs me by the throat and says, ‘you’re going to do what I want.’ I thought I was going to die.”
No woman should experience that.
Only when Cheryl was accepted into the Mission’s New Life Recovery Program, was she able to escape the dangerous streets.
Your support made it possible for her to find life-changing help, safety and healing.You helped save her life.
But Cheryl, to this day, has to live with the devastating trauma from her time living on the streets. Pain and hurt she could have avoided if there was shelter for her.
“If there was a single women’s shelter available back when I needed it . . . It would’ve saved a lot of bad things from happening to me,” Cheryl emotionally explains.
Tonight, hundreds of vulnerable women will be experiencing the same trauma.There simply is not enough shelter space available in the South Sound. You can help change that.
A new women’s shelter is currently being built at the Mission. A safe haven that we cannot finish without your help.
Your gift today will help finish this urgently needed shelter and help women who have nowhere to go.You can help them escape the streets and begin rebuilding their lives.
*Name and photo changed to protect client’s privacy.