Widline's Story

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Widline's Story

Leaving Haiti to come to America, Widline Arecius had dreams of becoming a US citizen, earning a degree, and securing a job so she could take care of her family. What she found was a road filled with obstacles that would have caused many to abandon hope. Without the lifeline of support she found at several local organizations and opportunities funded by United Way, she might have. 

At an age when many are finishing high school, Widline was on the verge of being homeless, without a job, and no money to even buy food. She had begun her journey in New York, living with family and taking classes to learn English. When her living situation became unsafe she moved to Anderson on the promise of a local family that would help her and provide her a place to live.
 
Within a year Widline’s new living situation turned bad and she had no choice but to leave. But that did not stop her from pursuing her dreams. With the knowledge that she would soon be homeless, Widline enrolled in classes at The Excel Center because she knew all hope rested on getting an education and her citizenship. 
 
At the Excel Center, Widline met a coach who listened and helped. She connected Widline to Dove Harbor, a local women’s and children’s shelter, with the goal of finding her a safe place to live. 
“The day I moved in, I slept for a long time because I was able to stop worrying and wondering what was going to happen tomorrow,” shared Widline. “They provided everything I needed like clothes, shoes, laundry soap, food and even a bus pass.”
 
At Dove Harbor, through programming funded by United Way, Widline was able to take skills-building classes and money-management classes like - “Penny Pinching” and “Dollars and Sense”. Taking these classes provided Widline an opportunity through United Way funded partner, Pathstone, to earn a $3 to $1 match on money she saved in order to start taking classes to pursue a degree. 
 
Widline is on her way to accomplishing her goals. She has graduated from Dove Harbor and is pursuing a degree at Ivy Tech. She even became a US Citizen this past summer. “I’m not done, I’m just getting started,” shared Widline.