DEBORAH'S JOURNEY HOME
When Deborah heard the words "chronically homeless" applied to her, it hurt. However, she desperately needed a place to live and filled out the required forms. Deborah prayed God would highlight her name on the lengthy county housing list.
"I believed God would allow someone to see my name and know I needed a home," said Deborah. "Ten days later, I received the call from CitySquare inviting me to apply to your A Way Home program."
Deborah grew up in Indiana. She was an only child, and her parents instilled strong values in her. Deborah graduated from college and married her boyfriend of four years. They were very involved at their church, and soon their picture-perfect family included two children.
Shortly after their first child's arrival, her husband became abusive, first emotionally, then financially, and finally physically. The abuse lasted for almost 20 years. Though Deborah sought help over the years through church leaders and counselors, nothing changed.
They eventually moved to Texas, where her husband also began physically abusing her son. When her son asked her if they could leave, she knew it was time. She talked with an attorney and began secretly packing their belongings. Deborah and the kids fled to her parents for a few weeks. Her husband never called. When she returned to Dallas, she went straight to the attorney's office and filed for divorce.
After a series of setbacks, Deborah rebounded and bought a home in 2006, her first as a single mom. This dream-come-true turned to ashes, when a year later a fire destroyed their home. Her insurance policy would not entirely cover rebuilding, so they lost everything, including their safe housing.
Over the next decade, Deborah's search for a permanent job resulted only in contract positions and layoffs. Her children were grown, and Deborah rented a room from a friend. She finally landed a permanent position and saved enough to move out on her own. The day Deborah was driving to her new place, a drunk driver hit her. She suffered severe injuries, including a brain injury and severe spine damage.
Now Deborah could no longer sit for eight hours and work on a computer due to chronic pain and severe fatigue. She lost the job she'd worked so hard for, and began moving in and out of friends' homes. When she ran out of friends, she slept in churches, shelters, hotel lobbies, and the airport. Eventually, The Salvation Army offered Deborah a cot, and she lived there for seven months before being placed in her apartment through our A Way Home program. Now Deborah has a safe place to rebuild her life. She became an ordained minister, and hopes to use her testimony to bring healing to others.
"If I didn't have God in my life, I couldn't have made it," said Deborah. "I've seen answers to prayer and have to let God work in his time. I know He will never abandon me. He has a plan, and I have hope for restoration."
Deborah couldn't stop fighting for her family and herself, and we won't stop either.