After years of running from problems instead of facing them, Vivian Howard’s journey of the last year can be summed up in one powerful word – overcomer.
Before working with the THRIVE Network, her approach to challenges was to run. She was in a bad relationship with the father of her seven children when she reached her breaking point. “The last straw was a knock-out fight with the father of my kids. I had to get away,” shared Vivian. She ran to Texas and while there, learned she was pregnant with her eighth child. She returned to Indiana and to what seemed a number of insurmountable challenges to face. “I was living in a hotel with my seven kids,” she said. Lack of adequate housing led her to relinquish the children to the state. “I thought they could help me find a place so I could get my kids back, but the help didn’t come.”
Vivian moved into a local shelter where staff worked to reunite the family. After 45 days, her children moved into the shelter with her. While living there, two life-changing things began to unfold – the department of child and family services worked to find the family adequate housing, and a fellow shelter resident recommended that Vivian talk to a THRIVE coach at the Anderson Impact Center.
Vivian began working with THRIVE coach, Langa, who connected her to resources that would keep her afloat and develop a plan to address each of her challenges. “The THRIVE Network is very resourceful. They helped me with rent, bills, and a listening ear. They helped connect me to Women United who helped me in so many ways,” shared Vivian. Vivian also began working with Brandon, a THRIVE financial coach, in order to build a more stable future for her family.
“I have been working with the THRIVE Network for a year and so much has changed for me during that time. I am a better mother today because of the THRIVE Network. I have more balance in my life because I’m not working 2-3 jobs anymore to support my family. I have more time for my children and for me.”
Today Vivian and her children have a place to call home. She is working a job that provides financially and gives her more time with her children. She is taking advantage of Network workshops that teach her how to save and better manage money. She has overcome many challenges, and now she’s not afraid to face the next challenge head-on. She’s looking toward the future and to reaching her next goals - earning her associate’s degree and owning her own home.