By Nance O'Day
|Teen Room at WEAVE's Safehouse|
Here at WEAVE we recognize that two primary reasons survivors remain with their abusers, or return to them, is that they have no funds of their own and cannot afford housing. Nearly all have suffered from financial abuse and have had no say in how income is used or any access to resources.
We require all new Safehouse residents to meet with the WEAVE employment and housing specialist within the first three days of their stay, because whatever survivors may decide, above all we want them to know that they have choices, and that they have the information to make informed choices. WEAVE feels very fortunate to partner with Allstate in the Partnership’s B.O.S.S. Program, where we receive a complete financial curriculum that we’re able to share with all the survivors we serve.
|Living Room at WEAVE's Safehouse|
The majority of our Safehouse clients have never had a resume, and many have never held a paying job. By asking about life experiences we are able to assist clients with creating resumes that reflect transferable, marketable skills they may not even realize they have. For example, a client I’ll call “Karla” recently showed me a cover letter in which she’d written that she had very little work experience because she had been a housewife. I was amazed to then look at her resume and see the varied, lengthy work experience she had: forklift operator, chef and administrative assistant, just to name a few. We revised her cover letter and highlighted her wonderful skills.
|One of the many private family rooms at WEAVE's Safehouse|
After a 33-day stay in our WEAVE Safehouse, Karla exited to a new, independent safe home, with a new job and child care she could afford. She was a motivated client who appeared to gain confidence in her skills and abilities in a very short time. I reminded her when she left about her first cover letter and she gave me a hug with tears in her eyes and said she was very thankful for all the help she had been given during her stay at WEAVE.
|Shared kitchen at WEAVE's Safehouse|