Leslie and her friends

Finding Safety and Stability

Leslie came to Mercy Housing Lakefront seeking refuge from a toxic marriage that left her unsafe in her own home. Additionally, Leslie is living with Bipolar Disorder, and at the time, she was suffering from a manic episode. She was referred to St. Catherine Residence, where she quickly found the support she needed and discovered a loving, comforting, and safe community of women who helped her rebuild her life.

LeslieLeslie explains that initially, “When I came in here I was an utter wreck. I talked to my Case Manager and she got me more grounded.” With the support of staff and a safe place to call home, Leslie is stable. She reflects on her arrival with a sense of relief, saying, “I finally felt safe and I could sleep.”

She began to integrate into the community and rediscover her passion and freedom. “I’ve found quite a good support group here,” she says. With the unfailing support of neighbors and staff, Leslie found “utter independence” and renewed self-esteem. Further, she has been able to bring her service cat with her, providing her with much-needed emotional support.

Now, Leslie ventures into the world with confidence in herself and her community. After nearly two years at St. Catherine’s, she can see the difference. “I’m volunteering now, and perhaps in my future I might be able to get a part-time job.” Most importantly, she’s found a place to call home where she no longer lives in fear. “It feels safe with all the women here… They encourage me.” She looks forward to continuing to grow and explore with her neighbors by her side.