Christy was raised in an abusive home and cycled in and out of the foster care system. For most of her childhood, she was never shown love by her family. As an adult, she entered into an abusive relationship that left her homeless and living in her car, with nowhere to turn. Her housing instability resulted in her children being removed by Child Protective Services.
Undeterred, Christy wanted a better life for her children. She was referred to the Center for Transforming Lives Rapid Rehousing Program. Christy overcame the obstacles of poverty by utilizing resources offered by the Center such as Financial Empowerment and Child Violence and Trauma Intervention Therapy. She worked hard to make sure she had a safe home for her children, and developed better parenting skills to become more loving and caring.
Since then, Christy and her family moved into their own home. She is working and becoming more independent each day. The Center for Transforming Lives has been instrumental in making it possible for Christy and her family to experience safety, security, and belonging – in their own home.
Child Development Center
Alone with a baby, Veronica wasn’t sure where to turn. She desperately needed a job to provide for her daughter, but didn’t have anyone to watch sweet Vivian while she worked. Then she learned about the Center for Transforming Lives and scheduled a tour of the Arlington Child Development Center.
She immediately felt comfortable with the warm and welcoming staff, and she noticed the rooms were filled with natural light, learning centers, art projects, and books. The curriculum was award-winning, and the teachers were highly trained. Best of all, a sliding payment scale was available for those who need it. Veronica would not have to spend nearly her entire paycheck on child care – she would have money left over for groceries and rent.
Once Vivian was enrolled, it was not long until Veronica knew she had made the right decision. Vivian quickly became attached to her teachers. So did Veronica! The teachers not only took wonderful care of her daughter but also provided support to Veronica as a first-time mom. They taught Veronica how to help wean Vivian off her pacifier, and they helped with potty-training.
The teachers scheduled regular meetings with Veronica to discuss Vivian’s development, keep her informed of her progress, and talk about techniques to use at home to enhance her learning. Veronica was impressed with Vivian’s development and could not believe how fast her child’s vocabulary was growing.
In a recent visit, Vivian – now 5 years-old – commented that markers are her favorite art tool, and she loves to draw. “I’m an artist,” she said proudly. She also shared, “I have lots of favorite friends here,” and in Miss Sasha’s classroom, “I felt like I was home.”
Family Strengthening Services
Shafeeqa made six-figures in a corporate career and owned her own home. When she suddenly became ill, she lost her job, savings and her sense of stability. She had no other choice than to keep going because she had a young child to feed. Shafeeqa carried a passion for food in her heart and had a desire to heal, so she starting cooking. After studying ways to heal the body, she dedicated her kitchen to healthy, plant based vegan food—PlantChicks. Trying to manage her business and family, she was strapped to make ends meet. She could not take her business to the next level since her sales were only making enough to balance her monthly income and expenses. Due to the damage on her credit report, she did not qualify for traditional lending from a bank.
Shafeeqa’s friend suggested that she apply for the Individual Development Account (IDA) offered by Center for Transforming Lives. Shafeeqa saw this as the perfect opportunity to learn how to establish a plan for her business and get funding to purchase equipment and other materials for PlantChicks. Shafeeqa began networking and marketing her way to success. She is part of a co-op in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex where several small businesses share a kitchen that provides space for each business to prep meals and various delicacies. The IDA program funding helps Shafeeqa continue working toward her best possibilities.
“Prior to coming to CTL, I was not able to separate my personal finances from the business, make long-term plans, or attempt to substantiate my passion in a reputable way. Sharing a beautiful space with women all focused on personal & professional growth is empowering.”
Shafeeqa considers herself a “mommy-preneur” and has learned to balance the needs of her business and commitment to family. Her mentors and leadership at the Center for Transforming Lives Financial Empowerment Program hold her accountable and offer tools that have set her up for success. “I am so grateful for the measurable growth of PlantChicks categorically and the confidence to keep growing with tools and a network of people that champion its success. Not only is Plant Chicks making lives better, I am better as a small business owner.”