Hear Their Story

Discover the impact of HOD from a few of the lives we’ve touched.

I felt so loved knowing that there were continued efforts of support being extended to us young mothers who’ve graduated from the program

Gave birth to a beautiful baby girl and has reconnected with her family in Peachtree City. Brittani is enjoying becoming a mother again and starting Clayton State University in the Spring to complete her BS in Psychology. With the support and guidance from the House of Dawn, Brittani was able to secure an apartment not far from her mother where she can still be close enough for her to provide additional support.

Written by Brittani Brassell

“I first want to thank The House of Dawn as a whole; the program has grown so much since I left. Specifically, the Alumni Program that was started. I felt so loved knowing that there were continued efforts of support being extended to us young mothers who’ve graduated from the program. As a mother of two now this specific branch of support was personally special.

Things I was unable to get for myself were given to me through the Alumni support team. Monthly gift cards helped with transportation and personal items. It was all greatly appreciated. I also want to address Ms. Casey. I must admit that having her made it extremely easy for me to open up to. She understood me better. I felt as though I had an older sister I could call on. Personal thanks to her, I pray that The House of Dawn continues to grow and touch many more lives”.

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I was 15 years old with a 5-month-old child…I was able to graduate on time.

Princess Barkley is currently employed full time and is getting ready to move into her new apartment in December. Princess is a wonderful mother and continues to strive for greater things as her son becomes a teenager. He is thriving and doing great in school.

Written: By Princess Barkley

“Hi my name is Princess Barkley I just want to start off and say that the House of Dawn organization is the most amazing place ever thought of.

I moved out in the year 2012 but I would like to reminisce when I was there. I was 15 years old with a 5-month-old child. My son’s name is Cori Barkley. I wasn’t in school so of course I was enrolled the same as that day I moved to House of Dawn. With me being so behind House of Dawn found me an open campus school just for me. and that’s what I needed. The open campus taught me a lot in a short period of time that helped me catch up to be in the appropriate grade. Therefore, I was able to graduate on time. I loved that school.

Life at HOD was very organized and loving. This was not just a job for the staff, they cared for us as if we were the world to them. Anything we needed, they provided for us. Even though I mentioned we received whatever we wanted, it was more to it than that. They talked with us as if we were their kids and they helped us raise our kids in the appropriate way.

They provided us with job and encouraged us to save our money. HOD taught us how to open a bank account to save money and they told their girls that if we saved the money they would match it. much we save that they’d match it. That’s so encouraging. When I resided in the home I was able to save $2,500 and yes, the money was matched by HOD.

It’s like they know many of people that wanted to share info with us. Topics of life stories, budgeting, safe sex, even therapy when we couldn’t cope with stress. A girl’s biggest downfall living there will be not realizing she has it made. It’s the preparation for a better life living there. I want to say thanks to you Mrs. Dawn Murray, Mrs. Taralyn Keese, Jesse Murray and plenty of others too. You guys played a big role in my life.

It’s now 2017 which makes it five years since I’ve moved out. But it wasn’t over. HOD has kept in contact with me ever since we left. They’ve invited me to yard sales, fundraisers, holiday dinners and even on vacation. HOD’s staff by the name of Kaci Griffin, I’m not sure how long she’s been there, but she was dying to meet me. I must have been special LOL. Ms. Kaci Griffin is a house parent on the weekends and she also conducts the HOD alumni program. Kaci on an everyday basis made sure that I’m maintaining a living for my son and me. There was a time when I didn’t have money to pay for a ticket for my license, Ms. Kaci Griffin made sure it was done so I could have reliable transportation. Let me remind you, I do not reside at HOD anymore and still is receiving these blessings.

I was thinking about moving to a better neighborhood and Kaci provided me with a detailed list of apartment resources. The list contained info that you couldn’t just find on Google. I’m not sure where she got the information from, but it was life-saving. The nicest places I’ve overlooked turned out to be the best affordable ones. Those girls really have it made. Hopefully, they realize it. I want to say thank Ms. Kaci Griffin along with the others for keeping me on the right track. I really wish you guys could be recognized in the best way for all you have done and continue to do. Much love, Princess Barkley”

While at HOD I conquered a lot of fears.

The devastation I felt when I found I was pregnant at age 18 was insane. I didn’t know what to do or who to turn to. My own flesh and blood was telling me to get an abortion. The uptight private school I was attending told me if I started showing they would have to kick me out. It was a good thing I only had one class left and I graduated early. If I had not put my mind to the school work I would have failed, loss credits would have had to start over in my classes. Instead, I reached for that diploma and grabbed it.

The school tried to persuade me to give my child up for adoption. I thought; why would I do that? I believed in myself. I felt as though I could care for this child and provide all the needs and wants this child would ask for. I knew I could change my life around for my child if I just put my mind to it. I thought why would I kill or give up my child if the person that was giving me the advice didn’t do the same. Why was I any different than them?   The group home I was staying at sent me to House of Dawn when I was about 3 to 4 months pregnant. I immediately knew there would be a change.

While at HOD I conquered a lot of fears. I learned how to be responsible and do things for myself. I also learned how to go out into the world and grab the things I want. In this journey I enrolled myself in college and started in the Spring semester as a freshman. I never imagined myself as a college student. If House of Dawn would not have pushed me as they did to complete this task then I would not have done this. I also finally got my driving permit which I am now trying to upgrade to driver’s license.

House of Dawn provided me with encouragement and faith. They helped with assigning counselor’s, parenting classes, and helping us find resources so we can strive to be a better person, and even better, an outstanding mother. I plan to leave this place with a steady, dependable job and transition to the Transitional Living Program or even better moving into my own place. I also plan to get my own car and license before I leave. If it wasn’t for House of Dawn’s motivation I don’t know where I would be. When I leave this place I just hope it will be on good terms and I will have completed all of my goals and come back to visit.

Deonna

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I’m so thankful for the HOUSE OF DAWN because they believed in me and gave me hope when I thought I had nothing and no one left in the world.

Hi my name is Carlys Daniel and I can honestly say that I’m so proud of the young lady that I have become today thanks to the HOUSE OF DAWN.  I entered the program in December of 2009 my son was only 10 months old at the time and we were going through so much.

We went from staying with one aunt to staying with another aunt until we eventually ended up staying with his dad. It was so hard staying from place to place with a child even though we were with family they always made us feel as though we was a burden and that was going on from the beginning of my pregnancy until my son got here. And yes I think things would have been different if my mother was still here with me but unfortunately she passed when I was thirteen.

We were having such a rough time until HOUSE OF DAWN gave us a place to call our own, and we are forever grateful. Now my son is an outstanding 2 years old. Wow time sure does fly. During our time in the program I really learned some great skills, such as pregnancy prevention, parenting, and budgeting skills that are really going to help me while I’m on my own.

I’m so thankful for the HOUSE OF DAWN because they believed in me and gave me hope when I thought I had nothing and no one left in the world. And even though I didn’t think that I would be in the program for the entire time I’m so glad I stayed. Even though I’m going to miss you all dearly I’m glad I had the opportunity to stay while I did and I wish the HOUSE OF DAWN the best of luck and I pray that it will continue to succeed and being a blessing for others just like they did for me and my son.

Carlys

I learned all of the life skills that I needed in order to be successful and independent…

When I first found out about my pregnancy, I had no place to go. Having no family or friends to turn to, I found HOD. I was sure that everything would be okay. I could get a job, an apartment, finish High-School. I could make this work. When reality hit I became scared, confused, I felt lonely, depressed and I was not happy or confident about raising a baby.

I came to House Of Dawn July 5, 2009 when I was 17 years old and 8 months pregnant. I was not prepared or aware for what I was about to learn. During my time in Second Chance I graduated from high school with the help of my case manager in May 2010. Also gave birth to my daughter Akayla in August 2009.

They provided me with food, shelter, transportation, and access to education. House of Dawn cared about me as a person, not just a mother. I learned how to maintain positive relationships, how to bond with my daughter Akayla and all of the life skills that I needed in order to be successful and independent.

In November 2010 I transitioned from the Second Chance Home into the TLP (Transitional Living Program). While in TLP I bought my own car and maintain my car note and car insurance. I am very grateful for what House of Dawn has done for me, I only hope, that I can do something some day for them.

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We learn about managing our time, money, working hard, and getting our education. Living in a second chance home to me means that I always have someone to talk to when I need advice.

My name is Ashley I am a resident at House of Dawn. I became a mother at the age of 16 and moved into House of Dawn Second Chance Home when I was 17 and my daughter was two years of age.

When I came to the House of Dawn with my daughter almost two years ago I realized that being a teen mom and learning to parent would not be an easy task. Sometimes it gets hard living with other families, having staff with you all the time and following house rules. But I had to understand that a second chance home is here to help me and that my baby is worth succeeding for.

My goal is to learn how to be independent on my own with my daughter and daily I have to remind myself of that. At House of Dawn I have learned a lot of things about taking care of me and my baby. I’ve learned the importance of eating right and how to feed my daughter so that we both stay healthy. Staff has taught me how to recognize when my baby is sick and what I should do.

Daily staff shows me something new about parenting or myself that I never thought about. We learn about managing our time, money, working hard, and getting our education. Living in a second chance home to me means that I always have someone to talk to when I need advice. I can trust them with my personal problems and thoughts and I know they are going to support me in making good decisions.

I understand that being a single teenage mother is not an easy job but being here I feel that if I take life step by step and remember what I am learning and that I can do it.

I was given a fresh start. Not only did the House of Dawn welcome me in, they prepared me for life.

I entered the House Of Dawn TLP when I was 20 years old. I was young, pregnant, depressed and homeless. I had no one to help me and get me on the right path. My mother had been gone for years, and I knew little about parenting.

But when I entered the House Of Dawn, I was given a fresh start. Not only did the House of Dawn welcome me in, they prepared me for life. They gave me an apartment, parenting classes, and 24-hour support. I could call on them for anything and I still can. My mother missed the delivery of my son, but House of Dawn was there. They became my family.

While in the House Of Dawn I completed things that once seemed so far out my reach. I completed my G.E.D and enrolled in college. I am now a full-time student at Georgia Perimeter College. Before entering the program I acquired a debt from being evicted from a previous apartment. They help me resolve it and now I have a good apartment in a good neighborhood.

Mrs. Dawn and Mr. Jessie spent weeks searching for me a car that I still have today. Through all their counseling and support, I’ve built self-esteem. I am now a smarter person and a good parent. I love House of Dawn, and they will be a part of me forever. They showed me there was a second chance and I could make it if I tried and gave it my all!

Thank you HOD!

Love,

Sara & Zyon

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Update #1

After two attempts I’m here lol!!  I sat down today and thought… how did I really make it here to Paris France to study abroad …Me Sarah Willis the girl who came from nothing became pregnant as a teen, and to many became another statistic!

I’m finally here!! After two attempts I’m here lol!!  I sat down today and thought…how did I really make it here to Paris France to study abroad…Me Sarah Willis the girl who came from nothing became pregnant as a teen, and to many became another statistic! but #ToGoBeTheGlory for his grace and mercy! He stopped me even when i was a mess and made me my best!

You know sometimes I really don’t think you can grasp the role house of down plays in my life….the blessing it was, is, and will always be!

That year I was set apart from the world opened my eyes, allowed the holy spirit back control of my life and I blossomed! I will never stop…I’m ready to help someone who wants to change and be helped as you helped me! Love you  & God Bless HOD

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