Valerie is a true picture of a Maggie’s Place success story come full circle, from entering our doors in a place of need to now successful and thriving on her own.
In 2012, Valerie found herself in trouble early in her pregnancy, spending time in jail from a series of bad decisions she made with her then-boyfriend. After she was released, her probation officer helped her to find Maggie’s Place online.
“This is the one,” she urged her. “You need to call until you can get in.”
Three weeks later, Valerie had found a home at Maggie’s Place and welcomed her son Anthony into the world shortly after.
“I knew I was living right where I wanted my baby to be,” she recalls fondly. “At first I was worried. Would it be like jail where I came from? Or a cold shelter? But it was nothing like I thought. It was better than any home I had been in for years.”
Valerie began thriving in the rhythm of structure and accountability that the home offered, and quickly felt a new sense of self.
“I was surprised at how trusting the staff was,” she says with sincerity. “I realized how necessary trust is for a human to be successful. People in my life always focused on the negative. But Maggie’s Place brought out the best in me.”
During her stay of nine months at The Magdalene House, she completed her business degree online and moved into the Maggie’s Place La Casa de Madre transitional apartments. She also became a recipient of the Becky Most Scholarship and began the Maggie’s Thrift Job Training Program.
“It was at Maggie’s Place where I felt free to explore what I wanted to do,” explains Valerie.
Valerie graduated the program and has since been hired as a part-time associate at Maggie’s Thrift.
“The cycle I was living in before robbed me of my people skills—I was so inwardly focused. Working here has allowed me to re-learn customer service and best of all I can give back to Maggie’s Place after all they have done for me. And that feels really good,” she says with a kind smile.
It gets even better. Valerie recently moved into a three-bedroom home that was furnished with items she earned as a graduate of the program.
“I have a TV, a couch and a nightstand,” she says proudly. She then pauses as tears well up in her eyes. She looks down. “And beds for my boys. We finally each have beds.”
Valerie continues to be an example of all Maggie’s Place strives to offer its guests: the freedom to forget the past and the confidence to create a new future.
“I was always so concerned about what people thought of me. Maggie’s Place transformed my self-esteem. I am confident with who I am. My past is just that—my past. I am not that person anymore.”