change lives.

Susan’s story: Fleeing abuse and finding solace

I left a dangerous relationship after years of abuse. At the time, I didn’t have a job and I had nowhere to turn for help. I didn’t know how I would feed my child or provide a place for us to live safely. It was a terrible feeling to be homeless and not be able to afford the basics of life. The long-term abuse had caused me to feel depressed and anxious, and the stress of my situation left me unable to eat or sleep.

Second Stage Safe Haven helped me leave all of this behind and opened the door to the life I’ve always wanted. As a first step, the organization gave me the opportunity to move into safe and affordable housing. The other services from Second Stage – onsite counselling, advocacy, child support and social activities – helped me to regain my confidence and learn how to be assertive. Thanks to Second Stage, I was able to decrease my stress and anxiety, and work towards my goals. Both my physical and mental health improved.

The people at Second Stage helped me return to school. I graduated from my program and I went straight to work in my field, landing the kind of job I had been dreaming about for years.

Once crippled with fear and anxiety, I no longer stress about finances and the other problems I used to have. I sleep at night and I have learned how to form healthy relationships.

Second Stage has helped me become the person I always wanted to be. From the bottom of my heart, thank you to United Way donors for supporting me and Second Stage – I would not be where I am today without you.