You're Not Alone
"Tragedy should be utilized as a source of strength. "No matter what sort of difficulties, how painful experience is, if we lose our hope, that's our real disaster.
- 14th Dalai Lama
Stories of those who've walked in your path. Be encouraged.
HOMELESSNESS IS AN ANSWERED PRAYER
On January 1, 2018, I remember crying at the corner of my bed, on my knees begging God to get me out of the violent situation my sons and I were in with my now ex-husband. Three years later, He answered my prayer. On New Year’s day 2021, my two sons and I became homeless. Homelessness is an answered prayer. It is through homelessness that I am now chatting and chewing with Chat N Chew. Today, we are living in a safe and peaceful environment. It’s temporary but I believe that God has plans for my life and He will accomplish His plans in my life no matter what! It’s amazing how God has prepared the way, every step and every move leads to where I am now. God handpicked the people (my angels) that He used to deliver His goodness to me and my boys. His goodness is running after me. Don’t stop praying because it works. The Heavenly Father answers prayers in a very mysterious way! Thank you to the ladies of Chat N Chew for being my mentor, thank you for your wisdom, for your deep understanding, for your kindness, for your love and support for my family, Thank you Chat N Chew for everything that you do. I am excited to be part of Chat N Chew and to do my part as God commanded me. I asked God to use me because I’m ready for whatever He wants me to do to glorify His Holy name.
- Elicia G.
I was reflecting on my earlier days as a single Mom. I wasn't a paycheck away from being homeless... I was "one day of missing work" away from being homeless. I would go into work exhausted or sick, or if my son was sick, I'd stay home during the day and take him with me to work at night. I would be so tired from caring for him during the day (and often the night before). I would summon the energy to bring all he needed to care for him at work when no one was around. I could not afford to miss a day's pay or productivity. I remember bringing his food, blankets, medicine, and making him as comfortable as possible next to my desk. If he needed me, I was right there. I stayed as long as it took to complete my tasks.
As hard as those days were, I was profoundly grateful to be his Mom, and that I had employment to take care of him. However, I was constantly anxious about not only trying to provide but endured mental anguish of "am I enough, am I doing the right things? " My son's father was involved and paid child support, but I still struggled to pay my bills. I had a "system" of priorities - rent and babysitter #1. Then food. Can't tell you how many extensions and cut-off notices I received for utilities. The hardest part was getting utilities turned back on - extra fees you couldn't afford. Seemed like an endless cycle. I didn't share my tenuous situation with my family. I felt "less than." I did all I could to hold my head high despite all my insecurities.
Two of my friends surprised me one weekend. They bought fresh, canned, and boxed food - enough for 3 weeks, and a couple of things "just for me." One was a beautiful amethyst ring. Another - a much-needed winter coat. I was overwhelmed with gratitude, and it gave me energy and hope to continue on my path, as well as it helped me "get ahead" financially. This selfless and generous gift from my friends was a turning point in my psyche and spirit, and things seem to improve shortly afterward for the first time in years.
CNC is the mind-body-spirit lift that so many beleaguered single parents need. A celebration of the single-parent family, recognizing they are loved and supported. CNC gives them tools to forge ahead to a better future. They have rescued folks in dire need and supported others in their journey to independence. Everything they do is love-based to make a difference in the lives of the entire family unit. God Bless them and their mission.
- Lindy S.
"I met my ex-husband on October 7, 2000 and married on October 7, 2006. Our firstborn was a micro-preemie and remained in the NICU until Feb 17th. We were told he wouldn't survive. We were both social drinkers at the time but I noticed the stress of David's birth caused my husband to drink more. The stress was no joke, especially for first-time parents. I never missed a single day of visiting him at the hospital; while my ex-husband's visits were kind of hit or miss.
The increased drinking changed the way my ex-husband talked to me and treated me. I started planning an "escape route" when I found out we were pregnant again. His drinking continued and worsened. I had stopped drinking while breastfeeding for almost 2 years. Our second child was born in 2010 and by this time, their father was drinking daily and angered easily. I was counting on him to take care of our first child along with some household chores while I was in the hospital recovering, instead, he called my parents and asked them to get our son because he wanted to bond with our newborn. I waited until midnight for him to get to the hospital but he never came. He showed up the next morning as we were being discharged.
When I came home from the hospital, he was drunk which triggered another argument and he ended up slapping me across the face while holding our newborn son in my arms. That wasn't the first time he'd put his hands on me, but I was appalled. After that incident, I had lost respect for him and didn't want to be anywhere near him.
In late 2015, he joined a ministry at the church. I just KNEW God was at work because, for years, I'd tried to convince him to go to church with us, but he was content staying home. April 16, 2017 (Easter Sunday) was the beginning of the end...yet another argument and before I knew it, he was choking me. I fixed myself up to go to jury duty as best I could and when I arrived home, I found him passed out on the bed drunk. I knew I couldn't do this anymore. We divorced a few years later, we were officially divorced and I am in a much better place. Since our divorce, he has reminded me repeatedly that he is a changed man and wants his family back together, but it's too late. I am NEVER going back to that place I was once in...EVER!
By God's amazing grace, these boys and I have made it through without him and doing even better today. Some days were harder than others, but we have never been threatened with eviction/foreclosure, had any utilities cut off, or gone without food...I mean seriously, NOBODY CAN TELL ME GOD AINT REAL! My family/support system is simply amazing and I couldn't have done it without them. I went from working two jobs to being promoted at my full-time job. I still have a part-time job but I work when I want to not because I NEED to. These boys and I have been blessed beyond measure and I can't thank God enough. As we approached Christmas, I proudly looked at our beautiful tree (that I couldn't even afford a few years ago). As I looked at our stockings hanging on the fireplace (Mom, David, SJ, Shadow), I struggled to hold back tears (I'm not big on crying either). I went from walking on eggshells and living in fear (even AFTER a restraining order was filed when he went to jail), to living...like REALLY living. Today, my ex-husband and I along well and co-parent great, all for the sake of our sons. I know he has his regrets and still wants his family back, but I'm afraid that's a mistake he is going to have to live with for the rest of his life. If my story helps encourage even ONE woman to get out of a bad situation (BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY - but don't stab him, sis, lol), then I'll be satisfied with the way God used me. It may take years to get through my issues and trust another man enough to let him close to me, but I believe God has a happy ending for my story.
- Valinee R.
I'm 35 years old and a single other of two. I moved here a year and 9 months ago and stayed with a friend. She put me and my son out due to her relationship problems. My son had to stay with my sister until I was able to get us somewhere to stay. That's when I met Trish from Chat N Chew. I talked to Mrs. Trish about my situation and she explained to me about Chat N Chew and the program. They gave me a list of second chance apartments but I had gone another route and got my own place. Chat N Chew got me everything we need. All I had to do was move me and my son's clothes in. They have been there every step of the way to this day. I'm forever grateful and blessed to have them in my life. We are truly blessed and forever grateful for Chat N Chew.
- Tawanna H.
I officially became a single mom on Aug 3rd, 2018 when my twin boys were 2 and my baby boy was only 4 months old. My husband was verbally abusive, constantly drinking, and letting his bad habits take over. He laid hands on me gave me a black eye in front of my boys and that’s when I ended it all and filed a restraining order against him. I’ve been a struggling single mom since but I’m proud to say that boys have never been in need of anything and are surrounded by love, peace, and pure happiness. God has always provided and has always been by our side. I started doing playdates for my boys with my best friend and her daughter. They have been uplifting and have brought out a creative side of me that I never knew I had. I’m beyond blessed because my friend provides the balloons and I do the whole setup and turn a theme into a fun reality for our kids. Just bringing a smile to their faces makes me want to continue to create more themes for others. If I can help other mommies bring a fun theme to their life or teach them how to do it then I’m all in!
- Letty D.