FrenchAnita could never understand why her father didn't reach out to her. But he wasn't married to her mother, and he had another family to worry about.
“I was what they call an at-risk youth,” says the 34-year old single mother. “I started getting into a lot of trouble — running away from home, running with boys. When I needed my dad to step in and help me, he didn't. How can you ignore your own child like that?”
FrenchAnita had her first child at 18, and another at age 20. Then she left home to try and make it on her own.
Instead, she encountered abusive, controlling boyfriends, low-paying jobs and occasional homelessness. Her life was a constant struggle and security always seemed out of her grasp.
In 2014, after staying with a friend for some time, she was kicked out. In addition, her kids were now suffering emotional problems due to so much instability. She knew something had to change.
So she came to Joy House.
The Real Support She Needed
“Despite everything I went through, I always believed in God,” she says. “But by the time I got here, it seemed like God had forgotten about me. It felt like He didn't love me anymore, like He was treating me like my own father did.”
Yet for the first time, FrenchAnita found the safety and stability she never had. The staff at Joy House helped her fi gure out a plan to get her life on track. Her children got into counseling, as well as Cross Trainers Academy, and began to thrive. And through Bible study, prayer and worship, FrenchAnita started to reconnect with a Father who loved her.
“I also got a lot of support from the other mothers here,” she recalls. “We were all going through different things, but we looked after each other. We cried together, prayed together, encouraged each other, and reminded each other that we were going to make it.”
Thanks to the new friends and family she found at Joy House — and thanks to your support — FrenchAnita and her kids really are “going to make it.”