Chantal, a New Beginning

Chantal moved into a New Destiny apartment from a domestic violence shelter almost two years ago with her two young children. In her short 23 years, Chantal had already faced great challenges. After leaving foster care at 18, she chose marriage as a way of finding stability and soon became pregnant. During her pregnancy, her husband’s verbal abusiveness escalated to more physical acts. As her pregnancy progressed, so did the abuse. It was months after the birth of her daughter before the rage seemed to soften. Two years later, she found herself pregnant again—and again the abuse escalated.

Chantal knew she needed to leave—but just didn’t know how. After one particularly frightening incident, she found the courage. With just a diaper bag and a few personal belongings, she and her toddlers landed in shelter. She was approved for a housing voucher and was accepted for a New Destiny apartment. Through our on-site Family Support Program, the building’s Tenant Support Coordinator helped her enroll in a nursing assistant program, find day care and obtain benefits for her and her children. Chantal, like most domestic violence survivors, had many barriers to overcome. On top of making safety plans for court appearances and custody hearings, she often had hearings for public benefit or a sick child on an important school day – it seemed endless and she was often depressed and anxious.

But, she remained determined to complete the training program. After graduation, she continued to work with the Tenant Support Coordinator to make a job search plan, prepare her resume and conduct a successful search. In a matter of months, Chantal found a job.

Although Chantal still had to deal with her abusive ex-husband on visitation, she felt stronger and more confident. The New Destiny environment offered her a sense of safety and she made new friends with neighbors at the building’s annual holiday party. Comforted by a supportive community, she was moving forward and feeling good.

Just as Chantal was feeling in control of her life, she learned that her rental subsidy program was being terminated by the City and she would be obligated for 100% of her rent. She again worked with the Tenant Support Coordinator to create a budget so she could pay rent and meet her other obligations.

Chantal has managed to stay current with her rent and has built a new support system. She continues to seek out the Tenant Support Coordinator to help her work through her challenges and achieve her goals and dreams for her family.

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