By Lauren Hollon Sturdy
Margarita Acosta opened the door to her new home and immediately burst into tears. She walked into her kitchen, slowly opening each cabinet door, her face filled with joy and disbelief.
She turned around with a huge grin. “This is mine.”
It was hard for her to contain the emotion in her voice. Taking a deep breath, she let it all sink in. She was in a safe place. She had the support she needed. She was going to reach her goals.
A few doors down, Monica Martinez let out a sigh and an exclamation with each new household item she unwrapped.
“Can you believe this? All new towels!” she said. “We used to have just one that we shared. I had to wash it all the time.”
Admiring the washer and dryer, the remote-controlled living room ceiling fan and the soft new mattresses on the beds, she said, “I thought only Oprah did things like this!”
Margarita and Monica were homeless before they moved into two of the brand-new apartments at Buckner Family Pathways in Dallas Jan. 18. There was excitement, gratitude and hope in their voices. They were starting fresh. Their world was all possibilities now.
Margarita was referred by The Family Place shelter, the largest family violence service provider in the Dallas area. She stayed there for several months after fleeing a bad relationship in California.
She is studying youth counseling at El Centro College, and she hopes to work with kids and mothers who have been through domestic violence and drug issues. “Stuff I can relate to,” she said. She has the physical scars to prove it.
Monica’s homelessness couldn’t be attributed to one big problem. It was just life – a lot of smaller things that added up to a flood. Life was pulling her under, and she couldn’t keep her head above water without help.
She and her daughter had drifted from place to place. When a lady at church heard about their plight, she took Monica and her 5-year-old daughter in. They slept in her living room until Monica found Family Pathways.
Now she is studying mass communication and journalism. She dreams of using technology to take the word of God to people in remote areas of the world.
“That is my ultimate dream for now,” she said. “Who knows? God might give me a bigger one.”
The Winborns, a family whose financial gifts support Family Pathways, were there to help the women move in and to pray over them as they started their journey.
“I think that Family Pathways is a gorgeous program,” said Donna Winborn. “I truly believe it is exactly how God would have us to help and uplift these young mothers. I’m just impressed with the way this program is valuing these ladies’ lives.”
To support Buckner Family Pathways or other Buckner family transition programs in Texas, please call Buckner Foundation at 214-758-8000.
Watch the Video! A Moving Move-In for Two Dallas Family Pathways Residents
[video aspect_ratio="16:9" width="100" autoplay="0"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R8ZIuQ8Hk8A [/video]
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