Our lives are like recipes, aren’t they? We’re the chefs, always experimenting – adding a little of this, leaving out some of that. Many of us are lucky enough to have access to high quality ingredients from the start – a loving home, supportive community, healthy relationships and quality education. Some, like “Tara”, don’t.
Tara comes from an abusive family. With the ingredients she was given, it’s not surprising that she ended up in an abusive relationship. Her recipe definitely wasn’t turning out like she hoped.
When you meet Tara, you can’t help but notice a drive inside her. She is a real “go getter”. When victims dream, abusers tighten their control. Tara knows this all too well. Because of her abuser, she lost her housing, just like a chef losing her kitchen. Her dreams of furthering her education fell flat. Or so it seemed.
Because of your support, Tara has thrown out her old recipe and is developing a new one.
From the moment Tara entered the Coburn Place program, she has been working it. Hard. With a safe place to live on her own, she no longer had to worry about the ways her abuser could thwart her future.
Tara enrolled in the Chef’s Academy. While her education was important, she knew she needed to do more. She got a CCDF (Child Care Development Fund) certification, allowing her to work a daycare job and attend school at night. She was learning so much. She often shared her delicious culinary creations with her neighbors and staff.
Always one to look toward the future, Tara knew that her time at Coburn Place would come to an end sooner rather than later. Financial abuse is another tactic abusers use to control their victims. It is not uncommon for domestic violence victims to have many debts and credit issues because of their relationships. With her Advocate, Emily, she faced her credit report head on. She got a helping hand from the Domestic Violence Network’s self-sufficiency fund. They were able to pay off her debt to IPL. Through disciplined budgeting, she was able to pay off her other outstanding debts on her own.
With her finances in order and a plan for the future, Tara’s recipe was finally coming together. She applied for permanent housing through the Indianapolis Housing Authority (IHA). In an unbelievable turn of events, her application was approved before she was ready to move. Our Housing Advocate, Talia, helped Tara by advocating to keep her apartment open for a while longer.
With the final ingredient in place, Tara celebrated another huge achievement – her son graduated from high school. He was accepted to college and is about to begin his first semester. It was the icing on Tara’s cake. She was so proud! Her younger daughter now has two incredible role models.
Earlier this summer Tara and her daughter moved into their new home. She has one semester left at the Chef’s Academy. With you as her sous chef, Tara is really cooking up a fantastic future. You and Coburn Place are a recipe for a good life.