Tracy had a normal childhood: two parents who loved each other, responsibilities in a family business, chores, and healthy structure. From a young age, she was taught to appreciate the beauty of nature, and often took advantage of the recreation it offers.
But somewhere down the line, life took a sharp turn and became increasingly bumpy. Divorce and a custody battle left her penniless and estranged from her community, and the chapter on Tracy’s long-time career in the media closed. The spiral continued when isolation, family-estrangement, and health issues ensued.
In 2018, she threw her hands up and gave into wanderlust. Looking to refresh her soul, she traveled around Oregon with her dog, Ponch, and landed at the coast.
“We went to the coast up in Astoria for a while, worked at the cannery… I was working and had money saved at that point, so I wasn’t homeless,” says Tracy. But soon after, she reconnected with a friend. “And that was when my hell started.”
Manipulation, coercion, verbal abuse, and gaslighting tore the fabric of her worldview as her abuser shrunk Tracy’s life to an existence. The worst part of it all was the psychological abuse she endured.
“I don’t know how it happens, how they do it, but it’s masterminded and that’s the scariest thing. That’s a dangerous person… Everything you tell somebody like that … they’re recording it in their mind so they can use it against you,” she shares.
Tracy feared for her life. By God’s grace and a series of events, she made her way to Marion County.
“I talked to people in the Albany area, and I talked to people in the Salem area, and the [place] that helped me most was Center for Hope and Safety,” says Tracy. “They put me in a hotel for a couple of nights, and then the advocate came and was like, ‘Have you ever heard of Simonka Place?’”
On March 29 there was a light at the end of the tunnel when Tracy walked through the doors of Simonka Place. Filled with compassion, the staff at UGM’s women’s shelter wasted no time tending to Tracy’s needs. Today she is most grateful for her case manager Krystal who went to bat for her, fighting unfair charges made against Tracy by her abuser.
Through God’s grace and Simonka Place’s advocacy, all Tracy’s charges were dismissed. “[Krystal] is my godsend. She is an amazing person,” she says.
Since the day Tracy first entered the Mission, the impossible has been overcome in her life and she has experienced God’s love and presence.
Today, Tracy has a place of her own, yes, but she has so much more than a home.
“I feel blessed and grateful. I have a family again. That’s another thing that Simonka Place helped me with,” she says.
Isaiah 41:10, “Do not fear for I am with you; do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you I will also help you; I will also uphold you with my righteous right hand.”