Tabitha arrived in Tucson with her two children, Nicholas and Zakiya in June, 2011 from South Carolina. Tabitha was abandoned by her husband and left alone to fend for herself and her children. They came to Tucson to live with her brother in a one bedroom apartment – things were tough but her kids were safe and they had a place to stay.
In October, 2011, after a family dispute, Tabitha and her two children were thrown out of her brother’s home and found themselves on the street and homeless. Imagine being out in the street with two children and no kind of support system or knowledge of what type of services were offered in a town you were unfamiliar with? Tabitha immediately began making phone calls to all non-profit agencies asking for help for her and her children. Tabitha was told “we can’t help you” many times but she kept persevering until she found a temporary safe place for her and her children.
Tabitha’s remarkable quest for a better life for herself and her children continued through her journey in finding a permanent home for her family. Tabitha worked fulltime and continued to attend Brown Mackie College to obtain her Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice. She was placed in an apartment and was able to provide a safe place for children. She never gave up on her dreams and was determined to make it through this low point in her life.
Tabitha was positive, energetic and determined to get through this a WINNER…..Her attitude and dedication to her family are admirable!!!!!! Tabitha got her wings and flew…..”If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.”
Monica originally came to Tucson to begin a new life with her husband. They had great dreams to raise their family and be successful. They had three daughters and a place to live; life was beginning to unravel. In 2006, Monica’s husband was murdered in their home in front of her and her three young daughters. Devastation took over when she realized that she had become a widow and a single mother of three girls with no skills in a matter of seconds. Not speaking good English and not having the proper documentation, life would be a challenge for Monica. The government stepped in and assisted Monica with obtaining proper legal documentation and she became a legal resident.
Monica searched for a job in many locations but was not successful. The help from the Victim’s Right Office was ending and Monica had to feed her girls. She began working at an office cleaning company once a week then twice a week and now works three times a week. Monica is optimistic, hard working and a terrific mother through it all. She just makes ends meet but she is happy that her daughters have their three meals, a place to live and they are happy.
Through all her turmoil, Monica knew that she had to keep fighting for the sakes of her children who depended on her to take care of them. She never lost faith that she would make it through the losing her husband and make a good life for her girls.
“If we are facing in the right direction, all we have to do is keep on walking.” Monica never thought that she would fall through the cracks and never get up…She knew that she would soon fly and experience the freedom from her turmoil.
Sarahann had a difficult time during her childhood with some traumatic events. She attempted to stay positive and keep her head up during her turmoil. Growing up with an abusive father and brother, Sarahann did everything she could to survive. She attended college to obtain her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology in New York City. After her mother died in 2006, Sarahann felt lost and alone. She moved to Arizona with the little money she had saved up and registered at the University of Arizona. She managed to get a job, have her own apartment and owned a car she had purchased in New York.
Life was good for a year – Sarahann attended school and worked part time. She met a man who initially swept her off her feet but before long, the abuse started and Sarahann found herself in turmoil again. In an effort to flee from her abuser, Sarahann was forced to drop out of school and leave her job. With no source of income, she lost her car and her apartment. She found herself on the streets with no friends or family to support her.
After being in a shelter for abused women for 90 days, she was asked to leave. With no resources to follow up on and no place to live, Sarahann had to give up everything she owned. She was once again on the streets. Not willing to give up the fight, she came to Wings for Women and asked help. In no time, Sarahann was placed in a safe place and was provided with all her basic needs – food, clothes, hygiene and a bus pass. She had excellent job skills and proceeded with looking for a job. Before long she was working and eventually, Sarahann had her own apartment and is presently working on getting her own car.
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” Sarahann kept her wings healthy so that one day she could fly again.”
Michelle comes from a broken and abusive family that has not really offered support to her or her three children. Michelle became a mother at a young age and shortly after was married. Her marriage lasted a few years and ended. In 2001, Michelle was at the wrong place at the wrong time and was convicted of a crime and ended up in prison. During this time, Michelle felt beaten down and as if her ship was sinking. When she was released in 2003, Michelle completed her training in Medical Billing & Coding at Brookline College and attempted to make a better life for her family.
In 2008, after loosing her job, Michelle and her three boys became homeless. Michelle and her boys began couch surfing here and there for a night or two. They stayed with friends, family and sometimes on the streets because nothing else was available. Michelle attempted to get help from several non-profit agencies throughout town but there was always an obstacle to overcome before they could help her. Michelle felt hopeless and depressed. She contemplated suicide but knew that she needed to continue to fight for her children.
Tired and disappointed, Michelle saw the number to Wings for Women on The Morning Blend Show. Not believing that anything could be done to help her, she made a last attempt to contact Wings for Women and see how they could help her. Before long, Michelle was in an apartment, furniture was donated, groceries and basic needs were provided. Michelle was finally happy to have her own place with her boys and life was coming together for her. Determined to make the best of her situation, Michelle immediately began to look for employment and move forward with her life. Some days continued to be a struggle for her – she was told “we cannot hire you – you have a felony” at every job she applied for. Her past and the rejection became a big obstacle for her. After months of her constant perseverance, Michelle got a job and was on her way to success.
Michelle’s wings were broken and after a long journey of disappointments and rejection, she found a new set of wings!!!!! “Don’t be discouraged. It’s often the last key in the bunch that opens the lock.”
Lisa is 37 years old and a mother of five children. She has been diagnosed with lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and poliomyelitis, which are all autoimmune diseases. Two years ago she got so sick that she thought she was going to die. She was so weak that her children were helping her dress, feeding her, and caring for her. Lisa worked full time for Citi Cards in the collection department and went to school at University of Phoenix where she received her Bachelor’s degree in Business. Lisa has struggled a lot but she promised her kids that one day it would all pay off and she would be able to get a better job. Lisa had 13 surgeries on her kidney in 2005 and in 2006 she had her left kidney removed. She lost so much work because of medical reasons that she lost her job. Lisa has been trying so hard to find a job but has had no luck. Lisa went back to school to get her Masters in Business. She had some issues with her financial aid and had to quit school. Lisa is two classes away from getting her Master’s degree.
Lisa recently became homeless. All she wants is to be able to support her children and give them everything they deserve. Lisa has worked so hard to get where she is and needs a second chance in life. She had her van repossessed because she could not pay it. Lisa has always been the one helping others. She worked as a CNA for thirteen years and she used to volunteer her time and take care of patients that didn’t have family and were dropped from Medicare. Her life fell apart before her eyes and she has struggled to get back up.
“When the world says, “Give up,” Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.” Lisa has never given up on herself or her children – her reason for living is to give her children the life they deserve!