From Survival to Stability: The Power of a Steady Hand to Help

Photo by: Brian Snyder / REUTERS

When Maria* first arrived at La Colaborativa a year ago, she was a single mother fleeing domestic violence and desperate to find safety in a shelter for her family. She bravely shared her story with Case Manager German Miranda and almost immediately felt a sense of relief, having a steady hand to help her find her way. She was disoriented, intimidated and afraid. She didn’t know where to start but German kindly guided her through each step, every question, every setback and win.

“When you seek temporary housing alone, you’re overlooked in a way that makes you feel insignificant,” Maria said. “La Colaborativa helped me feel seen and not just like another statistic or a person looking for a handout, but a person who needs help to keep her family safe.”

In her new temporary housing, Maria was grateful for the safety and stability she found. She became determined to continue on her pathway out of survival mode, towards long-term stability. She engaged with La Colaborativa’s workforce development team to build job readiness skills and find a good job. She began thinking about her future with excitement, not fear.

The mind shift that occurs when a person moves from survival mode to a more stable state is a powerful outcome of La Colaborativa’s model that often goes undocumented. To feel supported, accepted, and hopeful is lifechanging. It sets our members on a trajectory of long-term success, when they are able to get on their feet and see what the world can offer them.

Today Maria and her children are living in long-term affordable housing and she is pursuing her dream of becoming a nurse.

“La Colaborativa has given a voice to so many voiceless people,” she said. “Thank you for seeing me, hearing me, and making me feel understood. Thank you for making my battle your battle and following up every time.”

The truth is that we see hundreds of cases like Maria’s every month at La Colaborativa. People come to La Colaborativa and look for support and leave with access to ESOL classes, job readiness workshops, and housing specialists. Ensuring that people are not only supported in the short term, but set up for success, makes all the difference.

Your support helps us ensure that we can be that steady hand for all of them, whatever they may need. Please consider donating to support our work today.

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