“I used to feel like I was not a capable mother,” says Megan. Feeling like a failed parent, she arrived at Simonka Place for Women & Children weighed down by guilt and defeat. For eight months, separated from her son and daughter, she lived homeless.
Megan shared that, “Having a record … not having stable housing or being able to get into housing without having work experience,” led her to homelessness.
Once she was received into the care at Union Gospel Mission of Salem’s women’s shelter, the staff immediately constructed a plan to help her tackle these barriers. Eventually her son and daughter came to live with her at the shelter.
“I went through boundary classes, parenting classes, cognitive behavioral therapy classes, like thinking errors and affirmations … it definitely has helped me,” says Megan.
UGM has given Megan more than a roof over her head. Megan found shelter, yes, but also a loving community ready to equip her with the tools to be successful, confident, and anchored outside of UGM’s walls once she’s ready to leave.
Case Manager Krystal testifies to the progress and change she’s seen in Megan and her young family.
“We have built a relapse prevention plan and safety plan; Megan engages in Celebrate Recovery and attends an outside church with her children. She is also recently employed!!”
What’s more, Megan now walks in step with her Creator and Savior. By her newfound relationship with Jesus Christ, she knows a perfect love and grace greater than anything this physical life could offer.
Thriving in an environment of stability, structure, and routine, Megan’s kids have also loved the time they’ve spent at Simonka Place. “They love Simonka Place … they love the other women, here,” says Megan.
And through it all, she has learned that she is a perfectly capable mother – she just needed people to come alongside her as mentors and guides.
UGM is so much more than a shelter. We are counselors, encouragers, educators, cheerleaders, advocates, volunteers, and problem-solvers on behalf of the men, women, and children we are privileged to serve. We work through the difficulties together and celebrate victories with great joy. It’s only together, as a community, that we can change the face of homelessness.
Says Megan, “I think [UGM] is a great place. I’m truly blessed — it’s changed my life.”
You are changing lives for people like Megan when you give to UGM. Donate on GivingTuesday, November 30, to change the face of homelessness at ugmsalem.org/giving-tuesday.