Never Take It For Granted: Ashley’s Success Story

Posted by on Oct 23, 2017 in Blog | 0 comments

Never Take It For Granted: Ashley’s Success Story

Behind Ashley’s bubbly and optimistic personality, she describes a dark, troublesome past. “I lived with my grandfather, and my mom ended up getting mad…she made some threats toward me and I ended up fleeing…” She left her home in Florida in hopes for a better life in Indiana, drawn by a magazine advertisement. Unfortunately, it was a scam that left her homeless. “I lived in Indianapolis for two years, got tired of how they treated the homeless up there and moved down here [in Bloomington]…” Ashley talks openly about living in a tent in the woods for 5 years on and off, depending on the availability of shelter beds and if she arrived to get a bed on time. She described the harsh winters of negative degree temperatures. She held herself and shivered, rocking a little back and forth in memory, as if she will never forget it.

Throughout this time, Ashley often visited Shalom to seek assistance. “[Shalom] helped me with getting my ID, birth certificate, and social security card. They filled out the housing paperwork and turned it in to housing, they got me on the list…” She described her first warm shower at Shalom in the winter, and her shivers faded away. After a long, 5 year wait on the housing list, Ashley got a place to call her own. She especially glowed when talking about the surprise she got as soon as she moved in…the miracle of life! Ashley had children before, but lost custody of one through CPS and gave the other child to adoption when she was homeless. With a new home and a new chance to be a mother, Ashley transformed her life. She works night shifts at a security company, often working at local music festivals and conventions. In her spare time, Ashley uses art to not only better herself, but to improve the lives of those around her. She is currently planning a photography project with a goal to empower marginalized communities. Her advice to others: never go through things alone, seek help when you need it; never take what you have for granted.

It is because of supportive community members like you that Ashley is no longer homeless. Thank you for your continued support of Shalom Community Center and those in our community living in poverty.