Survivor Stories

Survivor Stories

Blue Water Safe Horizons takes special care to understand the unique needs of each of our clients to provide the resources, support and education necessary for every individual to live a life free from sexual assault, domestic violence, elder abuse and homelessness.

Jenny Survives Rape

Jenny was eighteen when she came into shelter. She had been beaten and raped by her stepfather and was pregnant with his child. Her mother had kicked her out when she found out about Jenny’s pregnancy. Desperate with no place to go, Jenny thought about suicide and talked to her Priest about what to do. He called Blue Water Safe Horizons (BWSH) for help. BWSH brought Jenny into shelter and offered her counseling, safety, advocacy and support. BWSH Resource Advocates helped Jenny work with law enforcement to get her stepfather charged with rape and assisted her with a referral for long-term supportive housing (SHP) that allows BWSH Housing Resource Specialists to check in on Jenny to make sure she is doing ok. Because of these supports, Jenny decided to keep her baby and continues to work on her trauma through BWSH outreach counseling.

Bob is No Longer Homeless

Bob had struggled with alcoholism since his return from Vietnam. Eventually his wife divorced him and he spent ten years moving from place to place, each new apartment or hotel becoming less and less stable until he ended up sleeping behind a building under a picnic table. Afraid he would freeze when the winter arrived, Bob entered into Pathway where he felt safe and warm for the first time in years. Pathway Resource Advocates helped him have his VA benefits sent to the shelter and transferred him to the Blue Water Safe Horizons supportive housing program (SHP). SHP works with the chronically homeless, placing them into apartments with a tenant portion as well part of the apartment costs funded through MSHDA. Most importantly, SHP Housing Resource Specialists provide in-home support to residents to help them transition from homelessness to self-sufficiency. The Housing Resource Specialists were able to get Bob into a stable apartment and a referral to Community Mental Health (CMH). Working with CMH, Bob entered into an alcohol treatment program-secure in the knowledge he had a home to come back to, Bob was able to obtain sobriety. After he returned to his SHP apartment he continued to work with CMH on his post-traumatic stress challenges, obtained his drivers license and began working as a peer mentor for CMH helping other Veterans navigate the challenges he faced.

Erma's Life is Now Violence Free

Erma is a 75 year old widow who has owned her own home for over 45 years. She had three adult children and worried about them constantly. Erma was particularly concerned about her daughter, Sally and her three children. Sally lost her job at the local plastics plant so Erma let Sally move in with her. Unfortunately, Sally was angry all the time and yelled at Erma constantly. Sally began punching Erma and took her social security check. Erma became afraid to be at home for any length of time. She spent most days sitting on a local park bench, regardless of the weather wondering what to do. One day, a local police officer sat down beside her and asked her what was wrong. Erma began crying and told the officer she was afraid to go home. The officer then called Blue Water Safe Horizons (BWSH) and brought Erma into shelter. At BWSH Erma felt safe and warm for the first time in months. BWSH gave Erma a safe place to stay, counseling, support and advocacy. BWSH Resource Advocates worked with Lakeshore Legal Aid to evict Sally and get a protection order, walking with Erma through every step of the difficult process. One year later, Erma states that she believes that BWSH saved her life.