"Being at the shelter gave me my life back."
The words of Roxie McCoy, a grateful mother of four, one summer after an abusive relationship took away her way of life.
Last June, on the birthday of her nine-year old son, Roxie and her children ranging in ages from 12 to one, found themselves inside the Soteria House, Logan County's new domestic violence shelter. The facility had just opened thanks in part to YOUR United Way gift. They arrived past midnight after Bellefontaine Police officers had been to their home and referred them to this new resource in our community.
"I was with a guy for 10 years," Roxie said. "He was a good guy in the beginning. I found out that he was taking money that was to feed the kids and using it on drugs. It got physical a few times. That's when I was done."
Things got worse before they got better. Roxie soon lost her waitressing job because she didn't have daycare.
"You question everything once you get in there," she said. "Did I make the right decision? Should I have left? I had a change of clothes for my kids and my work uniform. How am I going to make it on my own? Sustain a job? Find daycare? Find help for myself, because I was not in a good place, and I needed to provide for my kids."
But the compassionate staff of Soteria House, a program of Consolidated Care, worked with Roxie over the course of five months to put the pieces back together. They set her up for daycare so she could apply for a new job, which she got at AGC Glass. They helped her work with Metropolitan Housing to find a new home. Now, Roxie is back on her feet, a perpetual smile on her face, and enjoying life with her four kids.
"The people who give to United Way? They're doing such a good service!" Roxie said. "Even if it's only $5, $10, $20, that adds up. That's a pack of diapers for someone in a shelter with a six-month old who can't find a job because they're dealing with daycare issues. Or who just got there and all they have are the clothes on their back. Every little bit helps."
Since Soteria House opened in April 2016, they've housed 81 clients, 38 of whom are children. If you, or someone you know is enduring an abusive relationship, know that help is available by calling (937) 404-2365. Roxie recommends it.
"Get out! It's not worth it," she said. "So many women think, and I thought, 'I'm doing something wrong. I'm making him angry.' That's not what it is. Some people are just not meant to be in your life for a long time. And if you sit there and you allow it to happen over and over, you're basically condoning their actions and you're degrading yourself in the process. Women are worth so much more than what we give ourselves credit for. You just have to open your eyes and see that. You have to see the good in you and know that you're better than the situation that you're in."