By Naeisha Rose
With Mother’s Day coming up this weekend, some moms are beginning to celebrate their resiliency thanks to the guidance of HELP USA, a Manhattan-based nonprofit that aids individuals in transitional housing.
Domestic violence is the leading cause of women and families in shelters, and HELP USA has made it their priority to find people homes, all the while “preparing them for practical and emotional obstacles,” Program Director Dr. Hayley Carrington-Walton said.
Created in 1986 in Brooklyn, HELP USA has been reaching people throughout the country with representatives on the ground and via its hotline to help stem the prevalence of homelessness.
Through HELP USA, mothers in domestic violence situations get help with obtaining employment, managing finances, parenting tools, therapy for their kids, and post-counseling resources to help them stay on their journey to becoming independent.
“Women that have made it after domestic violence, we want to help them continue seeking strength and empowerment,” Carrington-Walton said.
One of the mothers to benefit from HELP USA was Isha Hemmans, 31, who has five children. Hemmans was in a two-year relationship that went from romantic to almost deadly.
“Initially, he was loving and caring,” Hemmans said of her ex-partner. Eventually, things got violent and she knew she had to leave.
“He threatened to kill me and when I went to the precinct, they knew he was gang-related, and the police officer said we are going to have to get you out of here,” Hemmans said.
Buying a bus ticket to Pennsylvania to help move Hemmans and her three children at the time was HELP USA.
After returning to New York in 2014, Hemmans reconnected with HELP USA and joined their post domestic violence program.
“We provide counseling and try to keep them linked to their community,” Carrington-Walton said.
Realizing that she had co-dependency issues and needed to work more on becoming independent, Hemmans called up a friend who told her about selling makeup for Avon and being her own boss. She now sells from her home in St. Albans.
“I’m just happy that there are people out there that are dedicated to helping women get out on their own feet and get moral support so that they can do better than their life before and that their life does matter,” Hemmans said.
Reach reporter Naeisha Rose by e-mail at nrose