This letter came to Fr. Joe Uecker, C.PP.S. from Sr. Diana Rawlings, ASC, Development Director of the Women’s Initiative Network of Wichita, Kansas on March 24,2015
I wanted to give you a brief update regarding the use of the 2014 HDF grant that WIN received. The $4,000 was used for 6 months of wages for [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][one of our clients], Ashley. Let me tell you about Ashley. She has been in the program since August, 2013 and successfully graduated from WIN in February 2015. Ashley has accomplished her educational goal (gaining her CNA certificate), stayed away from abusive relationships, and has found employment. These are three of the ways WIN measures success.
Ashley also had other more personal successes. Some notable ones include paying off significant traffic fines, completing 90 days of house arrest while still working, and persisting in monthly dental work that repaired her broken teeth that had resulted from her abuse. She has three boys under the age of 10. Ashley gained work experience at the ASC Wichita Center that helped her prepare for employment.
Ashley’s successes exemplify two of the four priorities from the HDF criteria: empower the poor and raise consciousness of the causes of an injustice.
When Ashley came to WIN she and her boys had been living in one of the shelters in Wichita for four months. She had no financial resources and struggled to get her two boys to school. Although she looked for employment, lack of transportation, stable housing and day care issues prevented her from being hired. Ashley was referred to WIN and within a month she qualified for low-income housing, because she was employed at WIN. Our flexible work schedule and assistance from our case manager helped her meet basic living needs. Now, 18 months later, Ashley has stable housing, her CNA certificate, a savings and checking account, all three of her boys in school and employment that pays more than minimum wage.
WIN provides on-site counseling, group activities, parenting classes, and a supportive work environment. All of this helped Ashley learn better coping skills. As her self-confidence became stronger, Ashley began speaking to groups on behalf of WIN, sharing with them how the program helped her become a stronger and more emotionally and spiritually healed woman. She was able to tell her abuse story, and in this regard she raised consciousness about the causes of injustice and how the legal and social systems actually work against a woman survivor of domestic violence. Speaking engagements during the United Way of the Plains Campaign were especially significant as this was a more public arena in which to talk about the causes of injustice.
These are examples that show how Ashley is well on her way to becoming a contributing member of the Wichita civic community to help other women like herself.
The HDF grant changed the life of Ashley and her three boys. Thank you!