Finding Home Again
"If it hadn't been for Ms. Ashe, we’d probably still be trying to figure out how to get into a place where we can all come together again. She’s such a loving, spiritual lady.”
Yvonne’s experience last summer at The Salvation Army’s Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center was shaped by her relationship with Amauunet Ashe, a care coordinator and the intake supervisor at the shelter. Working side-by-side with Amauunet, Yvonne was able to turn a frightening domestic situation around and find a path forward.
Yvonne arrived at the shelter last June with her grandson, Will, in tow. She and her family had been forced to leave their apartment after her oldest daughter's abusive ex-boyfriend took his anger out on the family by shooting up their home. Frightened and without a place to go, Yvonne called The Salvation Army and was able to get immediate admittance to the shelter. She and Will were safe, but she needed to find a new home to get the rest of her scattered family back together in one place.
“When she came she was fragile, but tough,” recalled Amauunet. “It’s an oxymoron, but she was the matriarch of her family and just needed some tender loving care and some support. She’d never been in a shelter before and was trying to navigate how she could do this with her 12-year-old grandson. She was very protective and wanted to make sure that things were going to work for him, as well as for her.”
Yvonne was especially concerned about how the other children would treat Will, who has ADHD and a speech impediment. She was delighted to see how caring the staff was and how well the children got along. Will bonded with the staff and residents, which helped their three-month stay at the shelter feel much more home-like than expected.
When Yvonne learned that she could apply for housing at the shelter’s adjoining property, The Salvation Army Barton Center, she was excited to take this first step toward having her own home again. She worked hard to get to the point where she and Will could transition to the apartment complex, impressing the shelter staff with her determination and tenacity.
“Over the course of her three months here she was needing me less,” Amauunet shared. “She was telling me what she was doing as opposed to telling me what she needed me to help her to do. Instead of leading her, I started shadowing her. She took ownership of everything she wanted to do.”
Today Yvonne and Will are living in a two-bedroom apartment in the Barton Center while they work to get the family back together in one place. Will continues to work with the same tutor who helped him at the shelter and Yvonne knows that she can always call Amauunet for help.
“Even if it’s just to get an interview outfit from the Sally Shop, I know I can always reach out for support when I need it,” Yvonne confided. “Everything about this place has been just a blessing.”