Depressed. Worried. Angry. Confused. These are the words Bahiyyah used to describe herself before Center For Family Services Family CONNECT program came into her life. “I not only lost my job but also my self value,” said Bahiyyah, “I was making unwise decisions and going down the wrong path.”
"This program has changed my spirit"
Bahiyyah’s life was completely out of order when she first stepped into the offices of Family CONNECT in September 2010. The single mother of four, including one medically needy child and one rebellious teen, was at a crossroads in her life. With no job, bills began to pile up and Bahiyyah started selling household items to make up the difference. She hoped to move to Georgia to start to build a more stable life for her and her children but didn’t have the finances to afford the move. Slowly, her apartment became emptier along with her dreams of starting over.
Life was never easy for Bahiyyah. As a child, she recalled having an unstable living environment, being shuttled back and forth between family members and eventually encountering some bad experiences throughout her teen years. As an adult, she struggled to keep her children in a safe and stable household. Her one child, exhibits behavior problems and suffers from acid reflux causing him to get sick almost every day at school; she must care for him which prevents Bahiyyah from getting a job or going back to school.
But securing a job wasn’t the only answer to Bahiyyah’s problems. She needed guidance to understand her bills and finances, a program that would increase her self esteem and confidence, someone to help her work through the trauma she suffered from rape, and resources that would help her children succeed. What Bahiyyah needed was Family CONNECT.
Our Family CONNECT caseworker immediately starting tackling Bahiyyah’s problems by connecting her to resources within Center For Family Services and the community. She started counseling with CFS’s SERV (Service Empowering Rights of Victims) program to help cope with past traumatic experiences she suffered as a teen. She enrolled in the SASS (Self Assurance-Self Sufficiency) program to help manage her budget and create a strategy of paying off her bills. Lastly, Bahiyyah learned how to control her child’s behavioral outbursts and met with his teachers to develop a nutritional plan to handle his acid reflux. At the end of the program, counselors observed Bahiyyah as no longer showing signs of depression and as someone with a new attitude and improved self esteem.
“This program has changed my spirit,” said Bahiyyah at Family CONNECT’s Advisory Board Meeting after completing the program. “When Family CONNECT first came to me I was depressed and didn’t care about myself. Now, I am a new person since my case worker brought resources into my life. It was through the collaboration of the counselors at Family CONNECT and Center For Family Services that my spirit within myself and within my home has changed for the better.”
Happy. Hopeful. Goal-oriented. Valued. “I am getting my house in order so I can be complete for myself and for my family,” the new and improved Bahiyyah.