Helen is drawn to this work because she has lived through and experienced the same sort of things that her clients have experienced. Helen knows what it is like to be incarcerated. She knows the pain of being a homeless mother who is trying to protect herself and her children from the darkness of the streets. She has survived being beaten so severely by a domestic partner that they left her for dead. Yet, here she is today — a survivor. Helen says she is a survivor because there was someone who looked at her and saw more than just a criminal, a homeless person, or a victim. She is here because there was someone that put out their hand and opened their heart. She is here because she wants to be that person for someone else. Helen wants to show people how they don’t have to stay where they are right now. She wants them to see that people can and do turn their lives around.
After being an outreach program manager for five years, Helen is looking forward to using the experience and knowledge she gained in that position with her personal experience to support the participants in the CoLEAD program on their journey to home and to the rest of their lives.