Denise and her children began their amazing journey with WINGS in 2008 when they entered our Shared Housing Program.
While there, Denise became ill and was in kidney failure. Denise’s health condition qualified her for WINGS Permanent Supportive Housing Program, allowing her time to focus on her health.
While at WINGS, Denise engaged in case management services such as counseling, financial management and parenting.
“WINGS helped my life by giving me a second chance,” Denise said. “I received housing and counseling for myself and my children, classes to clean up my credit, holiday gifts and recognition for academic achievements made by both me and my children,” she said.
Denise received The Alliance to End Homelessness Housing Voucher which is awarded to clients who are viewed by WINGS Program as being independent, self-sufficient and engaged in their community. With this voucher, Denise was able to secure a townhome for her family. Denise has three children who have graduated from Hoffman Estates area schools.
Denise is a graduate of the Rita and John Canning Women’s Program at Harper College and is continuing her education to pursue her dream of becoming a probation officer.
Denise considers herself blessed with opportunities afforded to her during her stay with WINGS. Denise is a member of the WINGS Alumni Association, which allows her to mentor others who are navigating their courageous journey. When called upon by WINGS, Denise has selflessly accepted many opportunities to speak at events in hope of inspiring others.
Martina moved to the United States to be with the father of her baby. After she arrived, he began to abuse her, both emotionally and physically. Martina had no friends or other family in the Chicago area. When the abuse became too much to bear, Martina sought help from the Domestic Violence Hotline.
The staff at the hotline referred her to WINGS Safe House. Martina came to WINGS with her three children and a diaper bag on her shoulder. Once at the Safe House, WINGS staff worked with Martina to help her file a restraining order against her abuser. They helped her to establish her immigration status, find childcare and access other resources.
Martina eventually moved into one of WINGS extended stay apartments. She found full-time employment. One year later, Martina has her own car and works two jobs. She has moved out of her WINGS apartment. She is happy and excited about her future. “I will continue to work hard for my children,” she says.
At WINGS, she found resources, support and encouragement. “WINGS means everything to me. They gave me all the tools I needed to move forward,” says Martina. “Every time I felt down, they encouraged me and gave me the courage I needed to do so.”
Deborah’s husband had become so violent that she knew she had no choice but to leave him. She fled with her toddler son, but she had no family members nearby. They lived in Deborah’s car until she heard about WINGS. Deborah and her son quickly moved into a WINGS Safe House. Once there, she received counseling and legal assistance. With that help, Deborah was able to file an order of protection against her abusive husband.
She began the healing process and moved into WINGS transitional housing program. Today, she is providing a stable, violence-free environment for her young son. “If it hadn’t been for WINGS, I would have felt completely hopeless, isolated and alone,” says Deborah. “WINGS truly helps women and children who have no other resources.”