Liberty regains custody of her children at Home Again shelter

Liberty was born and raised in Los Angeles, an only child to a single mother. Her mom struggled with alcoholism, was verbally abusive, and didn’t support her educational opportunities. “I got pregnant when I was 18 and my mom made me have an abortion,” she said. “After that I became really depressed.”

At one point, Liberty and her mother moved to a shelter to live. “The verbal abuse continued even there, so the staff had to separate us,” she said. In an effort to escape her difficult life with her mother, Liberty got into unhealthy relationships. She was married at 19. “It was an abusive marriage,” she said. “I left when Child Services removed my kids from my care.”

Liberty came to Home Again, the Mission’s family shelter, in an effort to get her three children back and raise them properly. “My main focus now is a healthy relationship with my children,” said Liberty. Her kids are with her at Home Again now, and Liberty is getting therapy to work on some of her mental health issues.

At first, Liberty said, her children had a hard time adjusting to life at the shelter. “It was easy for me, but harder for them,” she said. “My middle child felt like all shelters were the same, and he would often say, ‘Mom, they don’t care about us.’ Once he saw how much they care about us here, he began to trust again. I’ve seen him going from having many tantrums to following the rules without hesitation.

“There have been big (changes) within me and my children,” Liberty added. “My children feel better knowing that they have a safe place to call home.”

Liberty and her children have been at Home Again now for nearly six months. Her caseworker at Home Again, Yadira Mena, said Liberty has enjoyed attending church, reading, and listening to uplifting messages on YouTube—one of
her favorites is Joel Osteen. And she loves the women’s empowerment classes. “She looks forward to them and is an active participant,” said Mena.