At the beginning of the year, we committed to building a closer partnership with the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). As part of that partnership, we began to house mothers who are in the process of reunifying with their children who previously were not in their custody. Below is an open letter from one of our recent program guests, Maria, who through our life skills classes and intensive case management, is now on the road to reuniting with her children and rebuilding a new life for them.
“How do I start? When I first came here, I was hopeless, nervous, and depressed. My case with the Department of Children and Family Services had just opened, and my two children were staying in foster care; I did not know what to do in order to get them back. I was confused as to how I ended up in this situation and I needed space to clear my head and refocus.
Thankfully, the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission provided exactly that. During my time there, I was provided with hope and support to navigate through my difficult situation. I am so very grateful that this is the place and the staff that God brought into my life in this season. I never thought a group of strangers could be so understanding and supportive and eventually become my friends and close support system. At one of the lowest points in my life, the Mission, through its programming and supportive staff, helped me realize things that I never before saw in myself: that I am a good mom, strong, and able to advocate for myself. I do not feel alone anymore.
I am scheduled to have my kids returned back to my custody this month and am on the road to transitioning back into stable housing once again. Thank you to everyone at the Mission for being so patient, supportive, and understanding, and never once giving up on me even when I had definitely given up on myself. I am forever grateful.”