A Story of Hope: Brittani
We all make plans for the future. We set goals and dream about the life we desire. But despite our careful planning, unplanned events occur and life can go terribly wrong. Brittani, a graduate of Hillcrest Hope, along with her three children, experienced this first hand. She had planned to finish college while raising her children and dreamed of a happy life and a healthy marriage. But hurt, disappointment, and a broken home became the reality. Brittani and her children were faced with the challenges of creating a new life. Here, Brittani shares her story of hope:
“My children and I moved to Missouri, away from our family and friends, but also away from our past of an unhealthy home life. Nothing was going ‘as planned.’ I was a young, single mother of three trying to stay strong, maintain stability, and hold onto consistency for the safety and well-being of my little ones. In the middle of a messy divorce, I decided this move was our best, an opportunity for a fresh start. Away from our support system, with only one friend here in Kansas City, I had fears about our future.
I had interviewed and accepted a job to ensure I had an income to provide for my children. The four of us moved into a studio apartment with my close friend. I began my job teaching in an early education center. As I opened up with my co-teacher about my family’s move and current living situation, she shared her story and how she was able to rebuild stability and regain hope as a graduate of Hillcrest Hope. Still harboring doubts, I applied, knowing we couldn’t all make the tiny, shared apartment work much longer.
Our experience at Hillcrest Hope was better than I could have imagined. Everyone was welcoming and supportive. It was such a great learning experience, with classes, coaching, goal-setting, planning, and so much more. The Hillcrest Hope team didn’t seem authoritative, but supportive and ready to help us meet our goals. They had explained in our interview how hard this program would be with all the rules, meetings, expectations, and strict budgeting. Yet, in all honesty, it was not hard. Hillcrest Hope provided my family with free, safe, comfortable housing. They provided all of our basic needs and even some of our wants. For our family, it was three months of stress-free living that made it possible to take steps toward our new goals and dreams.
I look at this program as a booster program. It is just the spark I needed to get back on our feet without feeling helpless. I still had a sense of independence, yet with the support and encouragement I needed to be self-sufficient.
Even in the midst of the program, we faced struggles. A few weeks after moving into the Hillcrest Hope program, our only means of transportation broke down. Faced with the loss of our van, I was overwhelmed with worry and fear. Only a week later, the week of my birthday, I was gifted a car. This 2003 Pontiac Bonneville that a family had donated to Hillcrest Hope was a reminder of everyone that was investing in us. I could not believe that someone would be so generous to donate a car. I was able to make it back and forth to work, attend my children’s school/extracurricular activities, programs, doctor appointments, and the list goes on. My children and I were able to go about our regular day to day lives.
Everything about this program encouraged us to be the best we could be. I will never forget Hillcrest Hope or the lessons I learned through the staff, volunteers, and supporters. I don’t know where my children and I would be without Hillcrest Hope.
This story of our fresh start began over three years ago. Today, life is great. My children and I now have stability and peace of mind. We are happy in our own place. We are able to pay all of our bills. My kids are busy being kids. I can afford to put them extracurricular activities. Grant, my youngest, plays soccer; Gavin, the oldest, plays football; and Kylie, my daughter and middle child, is learning to play the guitar. They all play basketball. They have no worries and we couldn’t be happier. We have a can-do attitude. We have learned that when life knocks you down, to get back up and work even harder to get what you want. We weathered the storm and are once again enjoying this life thanks to the generosity and selfless love we received at Hillcrest Hope.