New goals and lists for success and growth are made by many people in the New Year. For Shavonda, the New Year is beginning just right. She is one of many women in the community helped by Haven of Rest Ministries’ Harvest Home. Harvest Home shelter for women and children enables women to not only receive vital services, but also rebuild their lives.
At Harvest Home, Shavonda found shelter with her six children, but she received more than she imagined. Shavonda said, “We received very good care. They are nice and generous people who check on how you are doing all day long. They are very dedicated and genuine.” She adds while grinning, “There’s also good food in the dining room.” In addition, she expresses her thankfulness for the programs and services provided to her.
Shavonda was able to take advantage of Harvest Home’s Future Story, a “social enterprise” job training program. Through Future Story, Shavonda connected with Stark State where she took courses and received her STNA (State Tested Nursing Assistant) certificate. Funding was made possible by a generous donor, and Harvest Home was able to fund the classes, buy her school uniform and shoes and even offered to pay for her lunch. Shavonda says, “I thought they were just helping with housing, but then they helped me to be stable as well. Today, I have a big enough space for me and my kids – 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms.”
Not only was Shavonda given a boost to a better future, but her children received much care while living at Harvest Home. “I met a lot of good instructors who taught a workshop for my children with hands-on activities and safety classes,” expressed Shavonda. She also says she benefited from classes on healthy food and money management. “As a result of being here, I want to do better and have a better life for me and my children. I am so grateful for growth,” says Shavonda through smiles.
This growth includes being able to work a job which will pay well. Shavonda says she will not have to work 2 full-time jobs while she pays for childcare. She plans on finding a job with benefits for the long term. As for her children, she shares, “I hope to get my children to volunteer in community centers and hospitals.” She hopes to make them productive teenagers and build their resumes to find work early on.
Shavonda not only grew professionally, but spiritually. She says God gave her strength in a dark time. Because of her positive experiences here, she is now taking her kids to church more often and is enjoying Bible studies. Shavonda asks that we pray for her and her family to stay safe and for her journey in becoming a better woman, mother, and provider. She also would like to thank Haven of Rest Ministries for putting her in a better position to be a better role model for her children.