annaMy name is Anna, I am 21 years old and I have a 10-month-old daughter, Hayley.  I have been at MELD’s Trinity House since September 2012.

When I was 22 months old my mother committed suicide.  My grandparents ended up taking legal guardianship over my sister, brother and I because my father was a drug addict.

When I was in high school I was drinking a lot, smoking, and partying all the time.   I was sent to a treatment center because I was caught bringing alcohol to school. The officer at my high school said that the only way that I would be able to continue my education at school was to complete outpatient therapy. I was doing so well.  All that was on my mind was completing the program and to finish my schooling, until my husband entered my life.  He caught my attention and I started seeing him out of group.  I ended up sneaking out of my grandparent’s house to feed my addiction.

I was in a controlling and abusive relationship with my husband.  I had lived with him and I had a bad reputation. I moved out of the house and later I find out I’m pregnant.  I thought that our relationship would be different due to this new life that I was blessed with.  Everything happens for a reason and being blessed with my daughter, Hayley, I believed was my way out.

When my grandparents found out that I was pregnant, there was no turning back.  They had disowned me ever since I left their house to be with my husband.  Knowing the environment I was around wasn’t fit to raise a baby, I decided it was time for me to leave.  Being 5 months pregnant I finally left, and I knew that I had to find a place to live.  My friend and her dad took me in for a few months up until Hayley was born, then it was time for me to leave.  I had nobody else that would take me in.  I had called Rockford MELD knowing it was a shelter for young moms, but there were no openings and I was in shock.  I thought I would be out in the streets again.  Finally I received a phone call from MELD telling me there was an opening.  After I get off the phone the only thing I could do was cry.

Since coming to MELD, I got my GED, got enrolled in Rock Valley College, and I have my first job, at Sharestuff Store thru the MELD Employment Program.  If it wasn’t for MELD, I don’t know where I would be in my life.  Thank you to Rockford MELD, for taking in Hayley and me.

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