In Her Own Words: Janine’s Story
I grew up in a middle class home in California. I attended college and worked as a tax manager with my own business. I was happy and had a sense of community. I never thought that I would end up homeless.
When I met my husband, he was kind and very attentive, but three years into the marriage he became increasingly controlling and jealous. Soon, screaming led to pushing and slapping until he finally beat me up. I ended up in the hospital and he went to jail. After a while, the letters came promising change and saying he was sorry.
I never understood why a woman would stay in a domestic violence situation. But there I was. I took him back. A few months later, the screaming started again, but this time he threatened to kill me.
I flashed back on an experience I had while in college. I had visited the District Attorney’s office, and on the walls were hundreds of pictures of women who had been killed by their husbands. I did not want to end up as one of those pictures on that wall.
I did not tell my family. I felt stupid and ashamed for taking him back and getting into this situation again. I gathered my stuff – only taking what I could fit in my car – and left everything I owned. I lost everything. I left my family, friends, church, business and everything I had ever known.
On the road with no knowledge of what the future held for me or if I would even survive this, I prayed while traveling up the west coast. With tears in my eyes, I got on my cell phone and called the Domestic Violence Hotline. They gave me numbers for shelters and housing in Seattle. I knew I could not stay in California with my family because he would find me there.
Before I left California, I had contacted an accounting firm to try to get work in Seattle. Jubilee was listed as a good place to receive clothes so I called for an appointment to get an interview outfit.
I was staying at a hotel and my money was running out. The day I arrived at the Jubilee Boutique, the staff and volunteers were very nice and they asked me about myself.
I cried and explained what had brought me there. The clothes I received were perfect for my interview. I was so proud when I walked into my interview in a designer blue suit. I was dressed as well as the partners in the accounting firm!
Janine lived at Jubilee while getting back on her feet. She now has her own apartment and is living independently. We are so proud of what Janine has accomplished after living at Jubilee. She is just one of more than a thousand women who have come through our doors and transformed their lives.
In Their Own Words: Reflections on Jubilee
At Jubilee I…
- Feel safe
- Finally have time to heal
- Am learning boundaries
- Have made friends with women who share similar experiences and an understand what I am going through
- Have a chance to step back, reflect and choose my direction
- Feel a sense of relief
- Have privacy in my own room
What makes Jubilee’s program successful…
- One-on-one coaching from my care manager
- Classes that help me get back on my feet
- Scholarships for school books
- Living with residents who have common goals
- Community meals help with my budgeting
- The community supports us and stands behind Jubilee’s mission
- Residents are included in the process of developing new curriculum
- Our basic needs are met so we can focus on bigger life goals
How Jubilee has helped you achieve your goals…
- The program has given me a lifeline and hope for my future
- I have been able to become more self-sufficient, self-reliant and independent in my daily life
- It has provided me with stability and rest so I can focus on the bigger picture
- It helped me get a scholarship to go back to school
- I have support accessing community resources
- My care manager provides the time and space for me to share, provides compassion and gives me feedback
- Jubilee cares what happens to me
- I am not just a number here
- I map out goals with my care manager and see my progress
- I feel empowered
- I don’t feel isolated anymore
- I have time to breathe
- Classes in the computer lab helped prepare me for work
- Housing 101 class helps me understand my housing options
- My care manager believes in me even when I do not