If you feel your safety is threatened, you can quickly exit this website by pressing the Escape key or clicking the X in the bottom right-hand corner.
Shelter resident, Natashia*, gave the following speech at a recent event for AFG. This is her story, in her own words:
My name is Natashia* and I am 19 years old. To be an independent young woman nowadays is very unique to me. Normally, you see a lot of women who are very dependent on their other half, which isn’t too healthy. I was living in an apartment with my boyfriend and another roommate. Our roommate didn’t pay her portion of the rent, and so we were evicted. My parents basically disregarded me, and so their home is not welcome to me. As for friends, I choose not to have many because of distractions, so for the few that I do have, they’re all going through something and I don’t need the added stress of their problems as well as my own. My boyfriend and I began living from place to place and eventually ended up living in a storage unit. During this time, I had a job but I didn’t have any transportation so I was walking one and a half hours to work each direction, sometimes in the dark. I went wrong moving in with my boyfriend too soon, and even though he had (or so it seemed), all of his stuff together, as humans, we tend to forget that any situation or circumstance isn’t certain; it can change in an instant as my life recently did.
A few weeks ago, I felt like I had completely lost almost all control I had over my life and the events that took place in it. I wanted to just lay down somewhere and give up. But my conscious mind told me that giving up doesn’t solve any problem; it never has and it never will. So I kept pushing through. Then I was referred to AFG by my boyfriend’s mother. Boy, that was the last thing I wanted to do. My perception of a shelter was twisted and so I didn’t see any way that just having a bed for a few hours could help me get my life together. Imagine my surprise once I arrived! Alternatives For Girls is nothing like I could have ever imagined, and in a few days I was finally able to relax and clear my head.
Last week, I was accepted to the Transition to Independent Living Program at AFG! This program will be beneficial towards helping me reach that stability that I’ve somehow lost in my life. I can finally begin focusing on myself and what I really want to accomplish. I want to get back in school and take up psychology and marketing. I want to someday help others and give them the chance to straighten out their problems and reach the goals that they once thought impossible, just as AFG has so far done for me. All of the one and a half hour walks to work and back, the studying at the library, the stress and hardships that I have and may have to continue facing in the future will only make my success that much more to be proud of.
*Name has been changed to protect confidentiality.