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Achieving Independence


“Three years ago I hit rock bottom,” Tiffany Corey recalled while balancing her cheerful infant son on her hip and keeping a close eye on her lively toddler daughter during a recent visit to Anna’s House. She looked over at her friend and caseworker, Kris Lewman, and went on. “I was in a domestic violence relationship and lost my housing. I knew I had issues. I was in a cycle of being with the same type of man. So I needed the housing, but I needed counseling even more.”

Kris nodded. “You’ve always been self-aware,” she said to Tiffany. “You may not always like what you learn, but you don’t stick your head in the sand. That’s one of your best qualities.”

Tiffany continued. “I came to Anna’s House nervous about community living. I knew I needed structure. They told me, ‘If you follow the rules and work the program, we can help you.’”

While living at Anna’s House, Tiffany learned to manage her life and her money and be a better mother. Having grown up in foster care, she didn’t have a role model for good mothering when her daughter was born. “Parenting is an everyday struggle, knowing I’m responsible for making sure they turn out to be good people,” she shared.

Tiffany now has her own townhouse and car, and a part-time job. As she moves towards independence, she still has support from Anna’s House. “I don’t even have to ask Miss Kris,” she said. “She’ll just stop by and bring something for the kids. She thinks of me—‘Tiffany might need this,’ and she’ll bring it.”

The warmth between the two women lights up the room. “Once you said I felt like a grandmother to you,” Kris remembered. “That touched my heart. I’ve never had a client say that before.”

“You are like a grandmother,” Tiffany responded immediately. “You call me on my mistakes. You remind me to think positive. I have so many opportunities, and I don’t know why I deserve them.”

Kris’ answer was predictable. “Think positive!”