Catherine first came to Rose Haven seeking group therapy services in 2015. A survivor of a violent stalker, she had been in therapy for PTSD, and her therapist suggested she seek out some group sessions to help her heal. He referred her to VOA, who referred her to our Domestic Violence support group, Sisters in Arms.
Catherine felt safe enough in the closed group to realize and share that she was in an unhealthy living situation. Her roommates were hostile, she felt trapped. Unfortunately she was not making very much money, so she couldn’t afford to move out on her own.
When she shared this in the group she was immediately directed to a Rose Haven Advocate. RH staff worked with her one on one to help her find housing options. Catherine was lucky, and we had one voucher left for a Catholic Charities program for working women without dependants. This was a huge relief because times had been very challenging for Catherine; and she was anxious to get out of her situation.
“After several years of struggling after surviving violence I just wanted a place of my own. The whole process was really daunting, and the advocates at Rose Haven were so helpful.”
In December of 2015 Rose Haven staff advocates helped Catherine fill out her paperwork for Catholic Charities. Catherine moved into her own apartment on February 2nd, 2016.
“I just needed a helping hand, I wasn’t asking for a handout from anybody.”
Catholic Charities covered the first 2 months rent for Catherine so she could get back on her feet. She was working part time doing customer service at Alaska Airlines, but was not getting promoted and needed more income. In June of 2016, Catherine walked into the leasing office at her apartment complex with a resume, and asked to please be considered if anything came up. Two weeks later, she got a call.
Catherine is now the property manager at her apartments on 23rd and Thurman, as well as at one other downtown property. Part of her compensation is free rent, and they immediately moved her up from her studio into a beautiful one bedroom apartment. She gets a great salary, and is maintaining her part time job at Alaska Air which has full benefits.
“Now I can go to the grocery store and I don’t have to count in my head. I don’t have to take change to the gas station. To have that freedom again to just be an adult is really amazing.”
Catheine just wants to give back. Over the holidays, she decorated the property she manages. She posted a testimonial about Rose Haven and collected clothing and supplies for the women we serve. “I never accessed the clothing here because I had enough. I wanted to save it for those who really need it.”
“By coming in to Rose Haven and being brave enough and safe enough to tell my story, I was able to realize I was in trouble and make a change. I am so blessed, and want to make sure Rose Haven stays available for everyone who needs it.