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"I feel I can do anything now"

One of the greatest joys at Bridge Communities is witnessing the longterm impact you have made on our families. Homeless families who came into our program broken and afraid—and exited ready to spread their wings and fly. Families just like Shavon’s.

Before coming to Bridge Communities more than eight years ago, Shavon had been in and out of abusive relationships her entire life. She had suffered physical and emotional abuse as a child, and then as a result, had difficulty with healthy relationships as an adult. She had suffered abuse by her son’s father for a long time, but the final straw came when her son was just an infant.

“When my son was 6 weeks old, I went back to work. I came home and my son’s father had cut every cord on every electronic,” Shavon explained. “He literally destroyed the whole house, and it was not even livable anymore. So, I picked up my kids and went and lived with a friend for a small period. I did get an apartment, but it was in a really bad neighborhood. It got to a point that we wouldn’t even sleep in the bedroom because we were afraid of bullets coming through the windows. Eventually I left the apartment and ended up living in a shelter.”

While the shelter offered her safety and a roof over her head, Shavon knew she had to find a home for her and her kids. She learned about Bridge Communities through an internet search, interviewed and was accepted into Bridge.

“When we entered the Bridge program, the support I received was amazing,” she said. “I had never had anyone believe in me more than I believed in myself. The support, the hugs—I didn’t come from a family that hugged – the hugs were real and full of love. I’d always felt that I had nothing but myself, and the support that I got at Bridge was unbelievable.”

With the help from her mentors from Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Pat, Mary Ellen and Patty, Shavon began the difficult changes needed so that she could secure a better future for herself and her children. “One of the things that was the most challenging was admitting I needed help. Going into the Bridge program let me know that it was ok to ask for help,” she says. “And Bridge helped get me and my parents into counseling services together. I wanted to forgive them, so that I could move on with my life. That was life changing and made me a better parent as well.”

Her kids greatly benefited from the Bridge program, too—through Bridge’s education program, her son Elijah had an Early Childhood evaluation and was quickly placed into preschool, and her daughter Jayla obtained a tutor. “My daughter was in 3rd grade and reading at a 2nd grade level,” Shavon explains. “[After tutoring] she was in 4th grade reading at a 5th grade level.”

Through her mentors’ and case manager’s encouragement, Shavon gained the confidence to try to move up in her job. “I interviewed for a training position at my job—before that, I hadn’t interviewed for 12 years because I had been stuck in the same job for so long,” she said. Six months after she got that first training job, the company had her interview against five other candidates vying for a regional trainer position. “When they called me and told me I had that job, I can’t even explain to you the joy I felt in my heart. The biggest accomplishment I have is believing in myself and striving to work harder. I feel I can do anything now.”

Shavon rapidly proved herself and moved up the corporate ladder, and in 2014, she graduated from Bridge when her company promoted her to a branch in Kansas City. She’s since been promoted to a Quality Control Manager, and just celebrated 19 years with her company.

And in the following years, Shavon’s children have continued to flourish. “Jayla is now 16, is getting straight As in school, and wants to be a pediatric nurse. Because her GPA is so high, for her junior year next year, she will only go to high school half time and the other half she’ll be taking college courses toward a nursing degree,” says Shavon proudly. “And Elijah is doing very well, too. He’s in fifth grade, he’s into basketball, and loves school— especially math.”

Her family is also about to grow. She’s now engaged to her love of the past five years, and they plan to marry later this year. “He is from Kansas City and has a loving family, and he treats me and my kids wonderfully,” says Shavon. “And about four months ago, Elijah asked him if he could start calling him ‘Dad.’”

Shavon will always remember you for transforming her life forever. “I think back on those days before Bridge, when I dreamed that one day I was going to be in leadership. And today, being in a place I always dreamed I’d be, sometimes I find myself crying with happiness. I get emotional when I look back, because I’ve accomplished a lot of things thanks to your support,” she says. “Bridge Communities changed my life when I was in a place where I thought no one cared about me. And I just felt so defeated. But that support and motivation that my mentors and case manager gave me—I wish everybody in the world could have that kind of support. We’ll never forget how well you treated us. Bridge will be a part of my life forever!” 

Client update

Shavon and her children have rebuilt their life in Kansas City. She is a homeowner, her children are excelling in school, and she just celebrated 19 years with her company!

Read more client success stories »

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Bridge Communities' Auto Donation Program helps client families get back on the road to self-sufficiency.  Donated vehicles help client families have safe transportation to get to work and to transport their kids to school and child care. To donate your car, please call 630-403-5104 or email Paul at