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September 2008

September 29, 2008

As told by Shaunte’s mentor, Jean.

A little more than two years ago we met our new protégé, Shaunte.  She and her two children met us (our transitional housing ministry) at our church.    The most memorable part of the meeting was how well behaved her children were in an unfamiliar setting, at the end of the day.  That told us all we needed to know about Shaunte and the way our two years together would go.

We met weekly with Shaunte and got to know her and her needs.  She concentrated on her spending and her budgeting and was quickly managing her money.   As we talked about other needs and concerns she readily followed through on advice and suggestions and resolved many of her own problems.

Although Shaunte came to us with two part time jobs, she soon lost one due to downsizing.  Through the help of Bridge Communities, Shaunte found a new full time job complete with healthcare benefits.  She took her time to learn about how these benefits would be of use to her and her children.  As she learned her new job, she fit in well, and made new friends.  Before long she started using her organizational skills and her baking skills to arrange a bake sale at work to help the employees raise money for a favorite charity. 

In addition to being a super person, she is a super mom.  Her children have always been her number one concern.  No matter what her schedule, no matter what was happening, her children had a safe and comfortable place to be.  It was easy to see how she lovingly disciplined them and cared for them.

As we worked with her, stumbling blocks were constantly thrown in her path.  She shared her problems and concerns with us, and worked through her ordeals with determination.  She has reached a point where she can comfortably move on to independence as she leaves our sponsorship. 

As we end our formal relationship with Shaunte, it is with great admiration.  We have laughed together and cried together.  Shaunte never really needed “help”, just an opportunity to get things started so she could use her talents and abilities to be what she is – an independent woman.

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