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“I had wanted change for a while, but I was scared of it.”

Lashanda worked up her courage to leave a public housing neighborhood in Virginia last Spring. Her children’s grandmother in Raleigh had offered for Lashanda, and her three young children whose father is incarcerated, to come stay with her. Lashanda was living in a neighborhood where gunshots and shootings were commonplace. The children were afraid to go outside. Then someone broke into their house, and the children were afraid inside too. Her daughter couldn’t sleep at night. In early May of 2018 as she prepared to drive to Raleigh she found out the house where they were going to live had caught on fire. “I had already packed up our stuff, so we came anyway. That’s how we landed at Raleigh Rescue Mission.”

Lashanda has been at the Mission for 7 months, and she has completed Phase 4 of the New Life Plan. She’s got a job now, is saving money, and has begun looking for rental housing. It has not been easy. “I came here for change. I wanted better schooling and a safer environment for my children,” Lashanda says. What she wasn’t prepared for was the personal changes she realized she needed to make. “The biggest change in me? Learning to be patient,” she says. “I’ve learned how to not get angry about things, and I’ve learned that I need to ask for help when I need help.” Lashanda says that the counseling she received in the Dialectical Behavior Therapy class was helpful, and she credits her Client Support Specialist for being there to talk when she needed to.

Lashanda’s youngest son is 2 and ½ and has just moved from the on-site nursery to attending the Child Development Center operated by the Mission. She says his transition has gone smoothly. Her two school age children are in the Tutoring program provided at the Mission by Sylvan Learning. Both of them have progressed since beginning the Tutoring. The Mission also provides before school, and after school care for the children, so Lashanda can make it to her early morning shifts at Austin Foods where she’s working as a packer. “I like my job. I like the challenge of meeting the quota every day, and there’s a chance for progression there.”

It’s progression all around for this beautiful family.

“I had wanted change for a while, but I was scared of it.”