Feb 01Resident Stories – Julie
Julie and her two small children slept on the floor the first night in their new home. After escaping an abusive relationship, they had little more than the clothes on their backs. Julie fought hard to provide a safe home for her kids and was grateful to find stable housing for her family at Mercy Housing. However thankful; this transition was overwhelming, and Julie was sick with fear about the uncertainty that still lay ahead – the hard work was only
In 1988, Julie was 22 years old, barely entering adulthood, when she moved into Mercy Housing’s Decatur Place Apartments in Denver. She was a single mom of two children with a baby on the way and no support system. Working at the Denver Post as a part-time customer service representative was good, but the little income she earned didn’t provide the basics she needed to support her kids. Julie was dedicated to making a better life for them and Mercy Housing would offer the support and the solid foundation she needed.
It was during an initial meeting with Dawn, a Mercy Housing case manager, that Julie’s eyes opened to the possibilities of a bright future. This meeting became a defining moment that reset the trajectory of Julie’s life. Julie recalls the conversation vividly – it’s one she will never forget.
“Dawn asked me if money was no issue and children were no issue, what would you do right now with your life? I answered and said I’d like to be a teacher,” said Julie.
Dawn looked at her and without a blink answered, “let’s figure out how to make you a teacher.”
“That moment changed my life forever. Someone saw more in me than I saw in myself,” said Julie.
Becoming a resident at Decatur Place meant she was committing to participating in a two-year-long program for single parents. During that time, Julie was required to regularly meet with a case manager and attend three onsite classes a week. The classes ranged from financial planning to child development and would provide Julie with invaluable resources she needed to get her life on track.
Julie made some very hard decisions. She left her position at the Denver Post and enrolled as a full-time student at the Community College of Denver. Julie studied English Literature while interning at the Women’s Resource Center. She would eventually graduate with an associate degree and continue at the University of Colorado Denver to study education.
It was hard work and not easy for a single mother. Julie gave up a lot to create a better life for herself and her children. Through her constant determination, the puzzle pieces began to come together.
As Julie looks back now, more than 30 years later, it’s a little easier to reflect on the setbacks she encountered along the way and the moments that felt insurmountable. Life is full of twists and turns, but Julie tries to give herself grace and see the positive.
Since her time at Decatur Place, Julie’s confidence has grown with each professional and personal accomplishment. She has enjoyed a wonderful career in procurement spanning 20 years that has afforded her travel experiences around the world. Julie continues to evolve and is currently studying Reiki.
“None of this – I mean none of this – would have been possible without Mercy Housing,” said Julie. Your support of Mercy Housing allows stories like Julie’s to become the norm. We appreciate you.
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