A Survivor’s Tale

Rose Family

The privilege of walking with Rose

Life has not been easy for Rose. She grew up mostly in foster care, was raped and found herself pregnant at 15. At 24 and the mother of two, she suffered a debilitating stroke. But Rose is nothing if not resilient and her life is also full of accomplishment and joy, including her kids, now ages 12 and 16, and two associate degrees, one in early childhood education and one in human services. And she is halfway through a bachelor’s degree in psychology.

Still, more often than not—and certainly more often than seems fair—Rose has had to cope with adversity. That includes finding herself and her children homeless in 2018 and spending six months at the Haven’s Byrne Family Shelter. “The stability of the shelter helped get me back on track,” Rose says. After everything she had endured, “I had a number of mental and emotional things to work through.” While at the Haven, she completed two adult education programs: the 13-week Getting Ahead (in a Just Gettin’ By World) and Forward Bound, a sequel that focuses on mentoring, community, collaboration, and giving back.

Rose has also been working with Family Supportive Housing Service Coordinator Amy Beston since moving into an apartment in White River Junction in July 2019. The two check in weekly, which Rose finds valuable. “It’s nice to have that support person pushing me to do what I know I can do,” she notes. “Amy is a great sounding board who helps me problem solve. It’s nice knowing I’m not alone.”

For her part, Amy adds, “Rose is wonderful. She’s a real go-getter. She has experienced the downfalls in our systems and is working hard to gain traction. I just walk behind her, gently encouraging her. It’s my privilege to be able to work with her.”

When her life became so chaotic, Rose had stopped planning. It was hard to have a vision for the future when so much seemed out of her control. Now, with support and the stability of a roof over her head, Rose finds she once again has goals. “I want to finish my degree and do something useful with it,” she concludes. “I want to be the change that I want to see.” 

Additional reading:
Motherhood & Poverty: Rose’s Journey

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