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This fall, if you're seeking help in leasing residential or commercial real estate, you just might find yourself speaking with Indranie Williams. She'll be delighted to help you.
But as recently as January of this year, Indranie was in no position to help anyone. In fact, she desperately needed help herself.
Indranie grew up dreaming. Her parents were divorced and she witnessed trouble all around her in her native Dominican Republic. However, Indranie believed things would be different for herself. So when she met the man who promised to make her dreams come true, Indranie married him and gave herself to creating the life she’d envisioned ever since she was a little girl.
Sadly, it wasn’t too long before Indranie realized that her dream was becoming a nightmare. Enrique* wouldn’t hold a job, continually relying on her for support. Even though she was bringing home the only income, he became abusive and cruel. Still she tried to turn their lives into the happy family she longed for, even securing a job for Enrique as a salesman. This job, too, he lost because of his irresponsibility.
Indranie managed to keep building a life, working as a concierge with VIP clients in the hotel industry and later for a law firm. She was able to buy a house and a car, and despite living with an abusive husband she didn’t give up on her dream. Time after time, Enrique promised her things would be different, that he would be good to her and turn his life around. But the cycle continued. Even when she became pregnant with their son, the abuse continued to mount. His lethal outbursts were tearing them apart.
It took a long time for Indranie to be convinced that Enrique wasn’t going to change. What she did know was that he had changed her. Slowly, the years of abuse had shredded her self-esteem and her confidence in her ability to make any kind of life without him. Finally, desperate for a new start and fearing for her safety, she fled with her son to Canada.
But even though she escaped an abusive husband, she “landed” in a country where she knew no one and had little money and no job. She didn’t even know how to go about finding a job in Canada!
Fortunately, someone told her about Interval House.
Not only did Indranie Williams find a safe and welcoming temporary home at Interval House, she was immediately connected with the resources that would equip her with both the will and the tools to move on. The staff went right to work helping Indranie to integrate into her new surroundings. “They saw more in me than I did in myself,” remembers Indranie. “I had gotten lost in there somewhere, and they helped me find myself again.”
Going through the BESS (Building Economic Self-Sufficiency) program was the start of the road back for Indranie. Like a lot of the women who come to BESS, Indranie was highly skilled but lacked the confidence and self esteem to realize that their skills are valuable and marketable.
Immediately after finishing BESS, Indranie began working with Tracey Harding, Interval House’s Job Developer. Together they worked toward the goal of a position as a residential and commercial leasing agent.
Finding a job is only one of the challenges in building a new life. Interval House’s Resettlement Program helps women find homes and navigate the sometimes confusing process of leasing and rental assistance. Indranie is now settled in a two-bedroom basement apartment with plenty of room for her son to play.
How satisfied is Indranie Williams with the resources and the encouragement she’s received at Interval House? She’s already met a woman in circumstances much like hers, a lawyer in her native country. “I’ve already told her about BESS and all the other good things at Interval House,” she beams.
Most domestic violence never makes the headlines. But Interval House stands on the front lines, assisting those battered and bruised. And it is Interval House’s loyal community of supporters who help scores of women each year put a life of abuse behind them, allowing them to live their dreams without fear. Once living that dream, they network with other women ready to build the lives they want for their families.
Indranie’s childhood dream was shattered. But thanks to the support of Interval House, her dreams have been reborn.
*not his real name