Domestic Abuse and unhealthy living situations brought Chrystal to a point of desperation and wanting better for her two boys and herself. All have been staying at Alternatives, a local domestic abuse shelter, since May of 2016.
At Alternatives, Chrystal was introduced to a new program through United Way called the THRIVE program. “I was at rock bottom,” shared Chrystal, “I didn’t know what to do. My job didn’t give me enough hours. My car wasn’t running right. Kelly, a coach at Alternatives, introduced me to United Ways’ THRIVE program.” With help from people like Kelly and Mary, Employment Coach for United Ways’ Thrive Program, Chrystal can obtain the skills, schooling and employment she needs to reach her short and long-term goals for herself and her boys.
“I talk to Mary every week,” says Chrystal. Mary coaches and supports Chrystal through her decision-making process such as the job search, obtaining vouchers to get clothes to wear to interviews and even making her room at Alternatives more kid-friendly for her boys. “She helped me figure out jobs that wouldn’t be a good fit for me given my history with domestic violence.” Mary “has helped me think about the future, not just today.”
One of the main issues many have, including Chrystal, is reliable transportation and being able to get to and from work. Her car was unreliable and needed much work. But, thanks to someone who donated a car to Alternatives, Chrystal was the recipient of a more reliable form of transportation for her and the boys. “Having this newer car is opening the door to more job opportunities because I can safely drive further. It’s also safer for my kids.”
Chrystal is thankful for the THRIVE program and all it has helped her achieve. “Long-term—It’s helping me find a better career and do what I want to do as a career. It’s not just for me, but for my kids. I want them to know that THRIVE helped me but I’ve done it as well.” People think the program is going to do it for them, says Chrystal, but the program points you in the right direction. She says, “you have to do it yourself.”
There is hope for a better future, as Chrystal can attest. “I want to have my own place, a career, have stability, to graduate from Ivy Tech and find a job with good pay. I don’t want my kids to worry about where things will come from. I don’t want them to go through the same struggles. I want them to look back and say, ‘look what my mom did for me’.”
Right now, Chrystal’s goals are to graduate from Ivy Tech and find a job with good pay. “There are resources available to you, you just have to find them. Don’t hold back.”