Bella describes her past as “dark and sad.

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Bella describes her past as “dark and sad.” She lived in Clearwater, with her mom, for most of her life. Her mother was abusive and so were her mom’s boyfriends. Over time, she became very depressed and began drinking and taking drugs. Then she dropped out of school.


She met a man who promised to take care of her. They lived together and had a son. Bella thought she finally might have a chance at happiness but then her boyfriend became abusive.


She knew there was a better life out there for her somewhere and she was determined to have that life. With nowhere else to go, she took her son and went to a shelter in St. Petersburg. The folks at the shelter told her that the best program to suit the needs of her and her son was Our Mother’s House in Englewood. So Bella headed south, ready to start fresh and to end the cycle of addiction and violence, once and for all.


Bella liked the mission of Our Mother’s House: to provide single mothers and their young children a safe and secure environment. She and her son moved in and thrived there. Bella felt so relieved that they were finally safe.


Now she needed to do something about that “better life” she had been imagining. She knew that the first step was to get a job. Our Mother’s House told her to apply at Goodwill. They knew that Goodwill would be the best place for Bella to get a job AND receive the support she needed to change her life. They explained that it would not matter that she did not have much of a work history and did not have a high school diploma. Bella applied and was hired that afternoon. She was ecstatic!


On the first day of work, Bella met with her GoodPartner Coach and established a plan. She and her son would stay at Our Mother’s House while she repaired her credit, saved for a new car, and stockpiled enough money to move into her own apartment. She was also determined to earn her GED.


Bella is taking full advantage of her new job at Goodwill. She told her GoodPartner Coach, “The past is in the past.”  She says she is ready to move on and make the choices that she knows will finally take her in a positive direction. Bella's GoodPartner Coach told her that she knows she is strong and smart, and that all she needed was a hand up. It’s what we do ...