Some stories are hard to tell, even when there is a happy ending. This is one of them. A few weeks ago, a woman came to our Women and Family Emergency Shelter desperate for a safe place where she and her two, young daughters could stay. Like many women who silently suffer the pain and indignities of spousal abuse, she was deeply wounded inside and out. Her daughters, ten and six years old, were emotionally brutalized from the relentless sounds of violence in their home and the terrors of helplessness – theirs and their mother’s. With no family in Houston, and no job (mom was not allowed to work outside the home), her options for changing her life and that of her daughters were minimal at best.
It is never easy for an adult to walk away from everything and move into a homeless shelter. Much harder for children. This was certainly true for these girls. Upon arrival, their minds quickly filled with thoughts of the unknown and the fear of strangers. So they tried to be invisible by not looking at anyone, talking to anyone, or moving from mom’s side.
But at the Women and Family Emergency Shelter, they couldn’t hide from the love that surrounded them. They had one-on-one attention and counseling from the staff, daily. And the things they had to leave behind were replaced. They received fresh clothing to wear, nutritious meals and snacks to eat, a clean room where they could sleep in safety, and a protected playground for outdoor fun. After school, there was the arts and crafts program at the House of Hope, located on the shelter grounds, and tutors to help with homework. In no time, the girls were blossoming—smiling and laughing out loud. The change was dramatic. Today, they are thriving, happy children who see a bright future for themselves and their mom.
The Star of Hope Children’s Critical Care Fund is the primary resource that makes it possible to support children living in our shelters and provide for their needs. It’s that fund that is the centerpiece of the annual Haute for Hope Celebrity Luncheon and Fashion Show, which takes place this year on Friday, May 7. Proceeds from this event go directly to the CCCF, for the benefit of all children at Star of Hope.