Erin’s Story: The Gift of Life
“Without the program, I would be dead.”
Heavy words, but that's Erin's truth. When she arrived at Amethyst Place in 2015, she was in a state of desperation. She had hit rock bottom. That’s when she applied to enter their program designed to help families overcome the interconnected cycles of trauma, substance use, and poverty.
“I didn’t want to slowly kill myself anymore. I wanted to give my life a shot,”she says. After four years of hard work and determination, she has done exactly that!
Each year, this United Way partner agency provides nearly 200 women and children in Kansas City with comprehensive, family-centered care through three core programs: supportive housing, family empowerment, and therapeutic services.
“I didn’t realize the gift I was getting when I moved into Amethyst Place,” Erin says. Today, she looks back and is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to turn her life around and provide a stable, loving home for her four children.
A big turning point for Erin while in the program was when she no longer felt the need to keep a “go bag” packed. For many years, due to living on and off the streets, she had to be ready to pick up and leave at a moment’s notice. When she arrived at Amethyst Place, she was given safe housing and finally had a place to call home. It took a while, but eventually the items in that bag made their way into the drawers and cupboards where they belong. “Amethyst slowly and steadily guided me through the fight, flight, or freeze reactions by catering the program to meet me where I was,” she says.
In 2018, Erin completed the program and moved into her own home with all of her kids–something she feared while living in addiction, might never happen. Now thriving, she actually works at Amethyst Place as the Financial Empowerment Coach. Erin meets one-on-one with the moms to build knowledge and competency around finances, which often includes addressing the emotional side of money and motivations in spending. They talk through goals to establish paying core bills on time, reach zero debt, and a strong savings account.
Erin’s road to success continues! After receiving a bachelors degree in Social Work last May, she decided to continue her education and is currently working towards her Masters in Social Work. “The things I have in life now, I never would have imagined I could have,” Erin says.
Thank you to all who give to UWGKC! You are impacting lives like Erin’s and helping create positive change in our community and beyond for generations to come. Learn more about Amethyst Place and the life-changing, comprehensive, family-centered work they are doing for women and children in the Kansas City area.Amethyst Place Part 1