In 2015 Miriam found the courage to leave a long time abusive relationship where she had suffered emotional and physical abuse from her husband. She was living in New Jersey, but wanted to move to Clayton, North Carolina to be near her mother so she would have some help caring for her children.
“The process moving to North Carolina was lengthy. I made sure I had income lined up, and a place for me and my children to move into,” Miriam says. “At first everything was going wonderfully. I had two jobs, my kids were doing wonderfully in school, but eventually things started to break down. I had to leave my part time job because my Mom could no longer take care of my kids on the weekends.” It was around the same time that Miriam’s ex-husband lost his job, and was unable to keep up with child support payments regularly. It became harder and harder to meet all her bills, and she started missing payments on utilities and rent. In late June of 2018, she entrusted four of her five children to her ex-husband’s care, as the agreement was that he would have them during summer break. Two days later, she was evicted from her apartment and was homeless.
From that point Miriam says every day became about survival. “I had no goals except to keep my son safe. I struggled each day to find something for us to eat, and somewhere for us to stay that night.” When she posted on Facebook that she was looking for a tent for her and her infant son to sleep in, she was given information about Raleigh Rescue Mission. She came to the Mission that same day.
Miriam admits that the first few weeks at the Mission were very difficult. The time spent in assessments and just slowing down long enough to take a closer look at her situation was not easy for someone who was used to having every minute of every day filled with responsibility. “By the time I reached Phase 2 of the New Life Program I was feeling more comfortable. I began taking lots of classes, and working in the kitchen here. My son was cared for in the nursery.” She says she began to see positive changes in both herself and her son. “He had been so attached to me, but I watched as he began to trust the teachers and interact with the other children.”
Miriam says she began to grow closer to the counselors, her caseworkers and the other women at the Mission. But it was growing closer to God that she credits for her real transformation. “I’ve learned that keeping Jesus in my heart will help guide my way. I know that I will succeed this time because He is my guide.”
Miriam has completed Jobs for Life, and has found employment. She says she’s holding onto the dream of eventually affording a Habitat for Humanity house. “I want to have my children back with me. That’s the dream I’m holding onto for now.”