This article was originally published in February 2013, by Rhonda Fisher.
One of the ways CPO is able to help girls in need is through the transitional home. This is a safe haven for girls (pregnant or otherwise) who need time to “get back on their feet”. While there, girls can go to school, learn how to drive and get a license, get a job, and focus on finding an apartment of their own. They are able to stay for months at a time. Over the years, many lives have been changed while staying in the transitional home. In her 17 months as the current “house mom”, Kris has affected the lives of at least 15 girls. As a volunteer, she says that being the house mom has “given me many blessings, including a family of my own, and blessed me with the desire of my heart to be a mom…and given me many opportunities to share the love of Christ with the girls.” She says some of the very helpful things volunteers can do are provide transportation; help girls prepare resumes and various applications for jobs, school, or housing online; work around the house, like gardening or cooking; and even spend time with the girls, like a walk or a bike ride.
All help is appreciated, and even the smallest efforts can change lives. One touched life comes to us in the story of R*, who moved out of the transition house almost a year ago, after staying there for about 6 months. She says, “It was really good. A lot of [the advice and guidance] sank in a while later, but Kris just taught me a lot of life lessons. She’s my mom… my 5th or 6th or 7th mom. I have so many moms from CPO. She has influenced me a lot with just getting my life together now, even after I moved out of the transitional house. I had been running from myself and from God and she kind of, you know, helped me confront a lot of issues I had. House meetings often had a lot of tears.” She says that she really appreciated the volunteers that were able to provide transportation for her, adding, “It’s really important, and such a relief to have that reassurance from one of the volunteers.” She wants me to report that she now has her own stable apartment, she depends on herself, she has a job, and pays all her own bills. She attends church as often as possible and appreciates the therapy sessions provided by CPO. She is happy to add that of 600 people at her job she is already ranked as the 2nd most successful agent. More than anything else, R seems to be proud of her independence. “Every little thing that happened while I was at the transitional house has affected my life in so many different ways it’s hard to talk about it all in a short amount of time. Hearing how volunteers decided to help our just out of the goodness of her heart is so touching. It means so much.”
F* also has a success story from her time at the transitional house. She was there for about 3 months, and also mentioned how much she appreciated the transportation that was provided. But for F, it was more than just a ride to an appointment. “It was nice to have somebody to talk to, someone who cares.” She says Kris encouraged her daily that she could have a better life than she was previously living, and now “I have an apartment with my son and no one is yelling at me or throwing things at me, and there is just a big difference.” She also appreciates her newfound independence. “God definitely put me there for that time in my life, and CPO is just… awesome.”
Delores is a former house mom, and Kris says she is still a wonderful mentor to her. Among her many gems of advice: “My heart is still with the home, even though I’m not there. We should all continue to pray for them and even though we may not always see the change at first or if some of [the girls] leave quicker than we’d like, we must remember that God has a hand in the life of each girl that crosses that path and that a seed has been planted no matter what we see. As we continue to pray and hold them up, they will become what God intends for them to become.” Well said, Delores. Well said.
*The names of the women CPO helps are always redacted for privacy purposes.