Jade never felt as though she had a childhood. From the beginning, she was exposed to and experienced hardships and brokenness children shouldn’t have to face alone.
Jade is a previous client of Pearl’s Hope Transitional Living Program, in Tulsa. She is 21 years old and the proud mother of young Leon. Pearl’s Hope provides housing and independent living skills training for women with children who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Participants learn about budgeting, parenting and nutrition as well as career/employment related topics.
“Moving into Pearl’s Hope was perfect timing for me. I really needed stability in my life and Pearl’s Hope gave that to me,” said Jade.
Jade remembers the frightening abuse she was exposed to by her mother and stepfather. Their constant fighting became a daily routine. After watching her mother suffer, Jade told herself she would never follow in her mother’s footsteps.
At the age of seven, Jade’s worst fear came true. Her mother passed away after a drug overdose. Jade was left heartbroken by her overwhelming loss and angered by her mother’s neglect.
After her mother’s death, Jade was placed in the custody of her mother’s sister. Later, Jade was taken into DHS custody because her aunt was abusing alcohol and, at times, Jade.
One night, Jade’s aunt was so intoxicated she couldn’t wake up. When her aunt finally woke up she began kicking Jade. Jade knew the situation was dangerous and she needed help to get out.
Sadly, Jade did not have any family to rely on. She began living with a friend’s family for a while, then couch surfed.
Eventually, Jade developed a relationship with a coworker and moved in with him. Soon after, Jade realized how toxic and abusive the individual was. However with no place or family to turn to, Jade was forced to stay in her abusive relationship because there was no other option.
Like her mother, Jade began using drugs in order to numb the pain she felt. “I stayed in the relationship for two and a half years. I tried to change him,” said Jade. “When that didn’t work, I started using drugs to forget about everything that was and had happened. I was trying to escape.”
When Jade found out she was pregnant with her son Leon, she knew she needed to find a way to escape from the abuse, drugs and chaos. She wanted to do everything in her power to give her son the childhood she never had. “Having Leon gave me back my life. He gave me the courage I needed to leave the relationship,” said Jade. “In a way, I didn’t care about myself enough to get out of the relationship but when I had Leon it all changed.”
Jade began looking for resources to help her out of her situation and found Pearl’s Hope. “It’s amazing all the help we are provided. This entire program is supported by generosity and love of people,” said Jade. “The individuals who support Pearl’s Hope are saving women and children they have never even met.”
Some amazing things have happened since Jade has been in the program. She has been able to focus on school and now has a good steady job as a pharmacy technician. She has also been able to pay off significant debt. She has learned how to save money, budget her finances and now knows how to make a grocery list.
Jade understands how much other mothers and children need help. If it weren’t for the guidance of Pearl’s Hope, she’s not sure where her or the other mothers would be. “I know how scary it can be to try and leave. I know how hard it is to feel alone,” said Jade. “It makes me happy to think I can help someone like I was helped!”
After completing the residential portion of the Pearl’s Hope program, Jade moved into her own apartment. She recently had car trouble which jeopardized her employment. With the help of a strong supporter of Pearl’s Hope, The Beal Foundation, Jade’s car was repaired and four new tires were provided to keep the car on the road and Jade in her job.
“The Pearl’s Hope Program is giving women the opportunity to provide a better life for their children. For a lot of the women, Pearl’s Hope is their only family, it is the only support system they have.”
As part of Circle of Care’s mission, Pearl’s Hope provides Christian help, healing and hope to children and families in crisis to ensure a safe, healthy and spiritual future. This program is financed 100% by donations and gifts. For more information about Pearl’s Hope, or to make a gift online, please visit www.circleofcare.org.