As an Army medic, Cecelia helped her fellow soldiers both male and female veterans. She’s helped heal their wounds and has seen their scars. Today, she knows that not all wounds and scars are visible on the outside.
Her life after the military took her down a dark path. Cecelia and her second husband were involved in criminal activity. Their unhealthy relationship continued to spiral downhill. She had hoped to end the cycle by leaving her husband and returning home to live with her mother. That move wasn’t enough to change her behavior. A visit to Pennsylvania to see her nephew should have been an incentive to forge a new future, instead, she was arrested.
She completed her jail sentence and was on probation. After she was released from jail, her nephew and his mother allowed her to stay with them. It wasn’t an ideal setting for Cecelia and she found herself homeless and literally staying in hotels and in her car on the street.
That’s when Cecelia found the Veterans Program at Opportunity House. “There are a lot of people out there who want to help. You have to put your pride to the side and move on,” she advises. With the help of her case manager, Kim Hartman, Cecelia was able to get a new beginning that includes a new apartment where she feels safe and secure. “I can be independent again,” she added. Cecelia continues to work on her goals which include finding a job where she can use the medical skills that she acquired in the Army.
Cecelia’s greatest lessons include learning how to humble herself and reach out for help. “Tell the truth, let it go, and release it,” she added.
Are you a female Veteran who needs emergency shelter? Do you live in Berks County, Pennsylvania? Call Opportunity House at 610-374-4696 ext 247. We welcome all Veterans and non-Veterans at Opportunity House.