Damage Can’t Dampen Resolve for a Better Life

Telma with her two children.

Inside Telma’s home there isn’t much furniture. In her living room there is a futon, a small television, and a kitchen table with three mismatched chairs — just enough for her family to share their meals together. This home, while modest, symbolizes a fresh start for Telma’s family after a long journey to get here.

Like many others, Telma first moved to Boulder to be close to family and provide a better future for herself and her children. But when they arrived things weren’t as she had hoped. After finding the strength to leave her abusive husband she quickly fell behind financially. She was able to live with family, but the situation was unstable and she worried about how it would affect her two young children. That’s when Telma was connected to EFAA. She was able to move into our housing, and for the first time in a long time, she had her own place to call home.

But on July 12, just four short days after moving in, Telma and her family suffered another unforeseen setback. Their apartment, along with four other units and EFAA’s food pantry, was flooded by a fire suppression sprinkler leak. As a result, they would have to evacuate the new home they worked so hard for. With thanks to EFAA’s dedicated staff, volunteers and community partners who worked tirelessly to minimize the impact on our families, EFAA was able to place every single family, including Telma’s, into an alternative EFAA housing unit that night.

“The speed that EFAA responded to everything was amazing,” said Telma. “At the beginning it was overwhelming. I thought, ‘Where will we go next?’” Her apartment was one of the least affected units and only needed a few repairs before they were able to move back in. Now, she is finally able to work toward the future she’s spent years dreaming of. Looking forward, she is optimistic about her children getting a good education, especially her son who needs special support in the classroom. Telma herself is looking at taking classes to help her career, and hopes to give back by volunteering with EFAA one day. “If EFAA didn’t step in, I would have either ended up homeless or had to return to my abusive husband. Now, I can sleep at night.”

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