When Paula was left homeless, she knew she could no longer continue closing her heart off to those around her. By God's grace, she found Toby's Place.
Paula felt uncertain as she drove through the gates of Toby’s Place. It was bigger than she imagined; she didn’t know if she was ready to take such a significant step in her recovery. The nerves brought back memories: her parents, her children, her abuser...
A voice snapped Paula out of her fog. “Hello,” she heard from around the corner. A cheerful young mom pushed her baby in a stroller with pep and energy in her step. “Are you one of our new guests?”
Paula nodded yes, and a smile filled the face of the woman. “Welcome! I live here too,” she said. The uncertainty Paula felt went away. She looked at the sky and silently prayed, “Lord, I think you’re telling me this is where I’m supposed to be.”
Feeling welcome was foreign to Paula. Her parents were strict, cold, and loveless. She wasn’t allowed to play outside, so making friends was challenging. Her father kicked her out of the house when she was 16. If Paula wanted love, she would have to find it herself.
She began to look in the wrong places, from drugs and alcohol to abusive partners. She was kidnapped and physically abused by the father of her children. When she escaped those terrifying relationships, she was left with nothing. She was homeless and unsure if she could provide for her children.
As Paula walked into the lobby at Toby’s Place, she began to trust God's path for her. The beautiful facilities, a supportive welcome from the staff, and the positive interaction with her new friend lifted Paula’s spirits. For the first time, she felt determined to finish something she had started.
The walls that once guarded Paula’s heart came down as she recognized the miracles God was working in her life. Faith-based counseling gave her healthy ways of overcoming her trauma and practicing forgiveness.
“I used not to be able to talk about what he did to me. Going to my counseling sessions helped a lot. I got a lot out. When it felt like everything lifted off me, I finally actually forgave him.”
Paula’s faith and confidence continued to blossom. In April, she graduated from the Toby’s Place program, secured a full-time job, and moved into her own permanent housing. Her children were in the audience celebrating the accomplishment: she had finished what she started!
Your donation to Toby’s Place provides safety and hope to women like Paula, helping them overcome trauma, live in a safe community, and have bright futures.
Hear Paula's story in her own words: