Crisis. This is where it all began and what brought me to Tapestry. 8 months ago…my life looked very different than it does today. I was homeless, battling difficult relationships and struggling in every way possible – mentally, physically, emotionally and financially.
So when I discovered I was pregnant on top of all of that…I was overwhelmed. I could not wrap my head around how I was going to figure out how to provide for my baby, since I was already working multiple jobs just to take care of myself. I had no stability and very little in the way of a support system. I literally felt desperate.
When I was younger I lived on 44th and Chicago just down the road from Tapestry. When I thought I was pregnant I remembered the sign out front and went in for the free pregnancy test but I knew in my heart that I really needed so much more….food, clothing and most importantly, a place to live.
What I found…was Miss Jennifer. While you all might know her as the Crisis Care Coordinator at Tapestry… I’ve come to consider her someone like a mother figure. Because let me tell you, she showed up in every way possible for me. She understood my struggle and she dug deep to help me find solutions.
It started with creating space for me at Esther Homes, Tapestry’s partner housing program. This wasn’t just any housing program, it has been a REAL home with women who have become my BIG sisters, Amber and Rachel.
With a stable place to live, I’ve been able to focus on the important things in order to get my future situated. It’s been incredible having everything I need under one roof at Tapestry; my prenatal care, all of my education classes, and the support network with the staff and other mamas in the program.
The things I am learning about myself…about life in general…I wouldn’t have known about before Tapestry. Classes like the 5 Love languages and communications workshops…those classes have changed the way I approach everything now. I have learned healthy ways to deal with situations and others around me, and it’s changed my way of thinking. The personal empowerment and parenting classes have changed the way I see myself and my purpose as a woman.
I didn’t know how moving into Esther House in December would go and if it was the right decision to make and it was hard at first… but we became like a family and they helped me build a foundation for me and my daughter. I have grown as an individual, matured as a woman and I now stand firm in who I am, in what I value, and in my faith.
In 8 short months…this place has had a profound impact in my life.
I could stand here and tell you all about the amazing services they offer, because I assure you they are great, but that is not what makes ESTHER Homes and Tapestry so special. It’s the relationships they invite us into. It’s the community they’ve created. We now all have a place where we can just be US.
Somehow, they have figured out how to be both – an agency that helps…and a family that loves you unconditionally.
Today, I would describe this season of my life as GREAT and I would not have arrived here without Tapestry and Esther Homes being a part of this journey. In the next month I will give birth to my daughter, Harmony Dior A’Starr, I will transition out of ESTHER Home into the Jeremiah Program, where I will be returning to school to get my nursing degree. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to do well for myself and for my daughter.
This journey has been a season of growing, learning and transition. There have been struggles and downfalls, questions as to whether I would be facing all of this alone, and hardships in family relationships. It has not been easy, but I am proud of myself for not giving up or letting the struggles determine my daughter’s future or my own.
As I reflect back over the past year, I am so thankful to have this community in my corner. These women have offered encouragement and words of wisdom. They have helped me walk through every huge decision and continue to stand with me every step of the way. They have welcomed me into their home and into their lives. By the grace of God I found this little place called Tapestry, and within that little building I found anything and everything I could have needed or asked for during one of the lowest points in my life.
What started, as a crisis has become my biggest blessing: Today I am a mother and it has completely changed my life. Without my daughter, I never would have found the path I’m now on or this community of women who love and support me. Today I am confident in who I am and I know that I am prepared to be the mother my daughter needs. I’ve learned to allow each step to not only strengthen me, but bring me closer to God. I now know that I can do all things through Christ, and that I am NEVER ALONE.