See the impact: From victim to dream chaser

Woman holding babyGretchen's relationship with her boyfriend had been unstable for some time before she found out she was pregnant with their second child together. While pregnant, his abuse escalated, including strangulation and punching her in the stomach. She feared, if she did not get out, both her and the baby would not survive.

Gretchen packed her car and fled the state she was living in and drove to Sioux Falls, where her aunt lived. Unfortunately, once here, her aunt was unable to help support her. Not only was Gretchen on her own, but she still felt very unsafe, as her boyfriend continued to threaten her and claim he knew where she was. It was then Gretchen found Children's Home Shelter for Family Safety (formerly Children’s Inn).

While staying at Children's Inn Shelter for Family Safety, Gretchen gave birth to a healthy baby boy. The Children's Inn Shelter for Family Safety provided Gretchen with not only a safe place to stay, but also meals, help with clothing, and any other needs she had. This assistance allowed Gretchen to begin to heal and bond with her new baby, as well as provide stability for her other son in a stress-free environment.

With the help of her Children's Inn Shelter for Family Safety case manager, Gretchen worked hard to secure a job, housing, and childcare. Despite her ex-boyfriend's attempts to reach her and threats of taking the baby away, Gretchen remained strong. Her case manager referred her to free legal services for help with the custody related concerns she was working through.

After a couple months at the Children's Inn Shelter for Family Safety, Gretchen had the resources she needed to move into her own place. She also began pursuing her dream of starting her own business. Having the safety of shelter at a time when she wasn't safe changed Gretchen's life for the better.

Last year, 827 individuals sought shelter from the Children's Home Shelter for Family Safety. Of those staying in shelter, 93% developed options for continued safety when they departed from shelter.