When Isabel came to Tampa Bay with her two young daughters, she was near rock bottom.
They’d lost their home and all of their belongings in Hurricane Maria.
Fortunately, Isabel and her kids were able to find temporary shelter with another family. But the situation was not workable long-term. “I was afraid that they’d leave me on the street or betray me,” she says.
I did not have the strength to go on and find the way out.
While sitting in church, praying that God would lead her to an answer, Isabel felt His unmistakable prompting to investigate Metropolitan Ministries. To her surprise and relief, Metro was just five minutes from the church.
It wasn’t long before she was accepted into our program. Isabel says, “They gave me the opportunity, and that’s where my transformation begins.”
So much fear
Isabel says she came to Metro with a lot of fear. People had told her that local shelters were scary. “But I discovered that Metropolitan Ministries was different,” she says. “I felt that I had a home with my two daughters.”
While she acknowledges the process has been painful at times, she says it works: “Since I came from Puerto Rico, I hardly spoke any English. Metro helped me in every way possible. I have seen my growth and that of my daughters.”
Thanks to the programs and services you make possible, Isabel has been able to receive counseling to help with her trauma. She has also been able to improve her English and earn a diploma.
At first, because the family had been through such a difficult time, she was afraid to leave her daughters alone, even at Metro. “But,” she says, “I learned to trust that someone could take good care of my girls while I was studying and working.”
Making dreams into goals
Today, Isabel is working two jobs as a health aide, totaling more than 47 hours a week. She says, “I have been able to save money.”
She has been blessed by a Metro team that recognizes what she has been through and wants her to succeed. Isabel and her kids are moving forward, gaining confidence, and finding stability.
Isabel recently moved into her own apartment. And while we continue to follow up, she is regaining her self-sufficiency. “I have been very happy — happy that I had a place where I could feel safe.”
Isabel’s goal is to own her own home. “I will continue studying to improve my income and give my girls a better quality of life — both emotionally and financially.”
When she first arrived to Metro, Isabel felt very lost and overwhelmed. She didn’t know how to start over again. “When I came to the program, the structure helped me make my dreams a goal,” she says.
“By making them a goal, I help myself to make them come true.”
For the first time in years, Isabel and her kids have hope. Thank you for giving to help this struggling family heal, regroup, and move ahead.