Nevaeh: Survivor and Rockstar

After being brutally attacked by her partner, Nevaeh fled her home state with her two children and arrived at FCC in fall 2020. For weeks she didn’t leave her room, had trouble sleeping and was hyper vigilant. “I just didn’t know what would happen,” she says. “I had a whole life before this. I sold everything, I left my friends and family, I had nothing. I felt like there was no way I could climb out of this hole.”

What Nevaeh did have was resolve. During her 90 days in emergency shelter, she worked a part-time job and focused on getting her financial footing. She set individual and family goals with her FCC care coordinator, Brandi, to find stable housing, continue her education and get a job, improve her physical and mental health symptoms and have fun. She wanted to enjoy her children without the ingrained and constant worries they had experienced in a threatening and unpredictable environment. Slowly Nevaeh started talking to other parents at the shelter and taking walks with her kids. And in March 2021, she connected with Marquita, FCC’s housing specialist, to apply for rapid re-housing and look for an apartment. “This is my second chance,” Nevaeh said at the time. “I am not letting go. I’m going to hold on tight and we’re going to get through this.”

A year later, Nevaeh and her children are getting through.

Rapid re-housing covered much of their rent and utilities in their first year in their two-bedroom apartment: 100% in the first quarter, 75% in the second quarter, 50% in the third and 25% in the fourth. As they settle into a second year, Nevaeh is paying full rent, taking business classes and continuing to work, and the kids are settled into school and doing karate and baseball. Nevaeh has a 4.0 GPA in school and her overall wellbeing is improving: She’s using positive coping skills and mindfulness to manage her anxiety—”In a moment of big emotions, I take a breath or two and find 5 things I can feel, see, hear and smell,” she says. She’s engaging with parents at her children’s school, socializing with her own classmates during and outside of class and going to therapy with her kids to work through their experiences of PTSD. She’s sleeping. And she’s paid off her debt and improved her credit score.

“I still have rough days when all that [my abuser] said to me—about how I’d never succeed on my own, the kids would be taken from me and hate me for failing—would circle in my head and I’d want to believe him. But I drag myself through the motions, I call my therapist, I go outside, and I keep trying because I must prove him wrong. Really. I already have, I just have to keep doing it one day or one minute at a time. I get up every day and I do it for my kids. And I do it for myself.”

“Nevaeh is just a rockstar,” says Brandi, her care coordinator. “She really pushed through each roadblock and wanted to find herself and rebuild her life. Her story is one of the things that drives me here. I want to support every family to success like Nevaeh’s. Seeing her success reminds me that even in the toughest days, we can make a difference.”

In Nevaeh’s words

For other FCC families: “Be aware of the red flags. Follow your instincts. My instincts were always right, I just let my heart make the decisions when I wanted to feel loved. It’s ok to love, just don’t be stupid.”

For her children: “I want them to see me and the life they have and be proud to call me their mom. I want them to know that I never stopped—and will never stop—working to keep them safe and give them the healthy and stable life they deserve. They didn’t deserve this, and I don’t want this to define their life.”