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Stories of Strength

Gina's Resilience - a new life

Earlier this year, CCS’ emergency shelter admitted a mother with a newborn baby. Gina had fled an abusive relationship that left her extremely fearful, and separated from her five year old child. CCS staff collaborated with Child Welfare Services to advocate for the family, and Gina regained custody of her son. Gina was ecstatic to have both children with her, though she had a long road ahead to get back on her feet.

Gina accomplished many things including: enrolling her children in childcare, participating in individual and family counseling, in-home parenting classes, and securing safe, long-term housing for herself and her children.  She was challenged to secure stable income, even though she was eligible for public assistance. Due to factors outside of Gina’s control, it was reduced, then cut off completely, leaving the family completely without any income (other than food assistance).

Within a couple months of beginning services at CCS, Gina was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. As a mother of two young children with no family or friends to turn to for support, receiving inpatient care was not an option. Gina did not want to leave her children in someone else’s care, nor did she want to miss out on a very crucial time in their lives after having fought so hard to regain the custody. Gina was able to advocate for herself to receive daily treatments while the children were at school.

Despite this harrowing situation, Gina continues to care for her children, making sure they both attend school each day, and sets aside time to help with homework each night. In addition to these responsibilities and taking care of her health needs, she has continued to push herself through online classes towards an associate’s degree, and finished a certification course.

The courage and strength that Gina has shown has truly been amazing. She has pulled herself together and shown an amazing endurance for the sake of herself and her two children. It is a reminder that families don’t come to CCS with violence as the only factor in their lives—rather, their lives continue on in spite of the violence, and sometimes they take even more unexpected turns.

*All names have been changed for the confidentiality & safety of the clients we serve



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