“Susan” fled a physically abusive relationship. She has the scars, both visible and not, to prove it. Because of your support, she found refuge at Coburn Place.
But what she gained in safety, she lost in the comfort and familiarity of her home town. Susan left behind her small rural community to live in the city of Indianapolis.
And while she was grateful to you for her new apartment and the opportunity to live free from violence, she remained frightened and paralyzed. Susan is an intelligent, soft spoken woman in her 40s. She cares about the Earth and being kind. But in addition to dealing with her trauma, Indianapolis itself scared her.
Her surroundings added to her anxiety. She couldn’t get past her fear to work toward her future. She didn’t even want to leave the building.
Her Advocate, Jacqueline, did all she could to help build up her self-esteem. She referred her to a program called “Give Back a Smile”, which repaired damage to her teeth caused by her abuser at no cost. She also referred her to one of our therapists. Susan took advantage of both opportunities.
But it wasn’t until Susan took a bigger chance that things really began to turn around.
At Jacqueline’s recommendation, Susan enrolled in a program called “Getting Ahead in a Just Gettin’ by World”. This program is based on a curriculum that helps people in poverty build resources and navigate through our middle class-focused society. Coburn Place partners with The Julian Center to offer this life-changing program, specifically tailored to DV survivors.
Our other Self-Sufficiency Advocate, Emily, is one of the Getting Ahead (GA) facilitators. She provides transportation to the off-site meetings for Coburn participants. With Emily and several of her Coburn Place neighbors at her side, Susan joined GA.
A unique aspect to the GA program is that participants are seen as the expert in their own lives, a philosophy that mirrors Coburn Place’s. Participants work together to solve problems and provide support to each other. It’s a 13-week course and a lot of hard work, but the payoffs are huge.
Nearly all of the 2015 Coburn Place GA graduates are employed, including Susan. With encouragement from her group, she gained the courage to return to school and even received a scholarship! She was so excited to learn she was chosen for a work study position. We’re happy to report that she loves her studies and is doing well. She is an inspiration to her daughter, also a college student. And to us as well. With your support, Susan is getting ahead in life, full of possibilities.