We were delighted to receive this thank you letter. Center Against Domestic Violence staff strive each and every day to make sure this story the story everyone leaving our shelters can tell.

From activities like Thanksgiving dinners to quality childcare to holiday celebrations, we make residents feel at home at our shelters while equipping them with the tools they need to get back on their feet and find long-term housing and a new life.  All of our work is made possible by people like you who choose each year to support the Center so that domestic violence survivors like Ms. M. and her family can feel joy again.

Here is Ms. M.’s letter –

“I would like to thank all of you.

“Unfortunately my family has been to a lot of domestic violence shelters since 2005.  We honestly were not happy to return this time.  But the day when we walked through these doors, my children and I cried tears of relief and joy.  We actually were in a place that was immaculate.  We couldn’t believe this was a shelter!  And the kids were overjoyed they had TV to watch.  Until today, when we are only days away from opening a new door to a place called home, we are grateful for Women’s Second Start.

“I realize – wow, this place is heaven-sent, with real angels!  All of you have opened your hearts and cared unconditionally for each of us.  There has never been a time when anyone has closed a door or refused to help us.  This truly has been a great experience for me and my children.

“I was very worried about Christmas since I had hardly any money and I couldn’t buy my kids gifts.  On Christmas Eve, my son Wilfredo told me, ‘Mommy, this has been the best Christmas ever!’  I almost fell to the floor! Could this be my Mr. Materialistic-Thirteen-Year-Old – the boy with so much anger from witnessing too much?  Thank you all so very much for putting joy back in our lives!”  From Ms. M. for Tiffany, David and Wilfredo

The shelter Ms. M., Tiffany, David and Wilfredo walked into, Women’s Second Start, is located in northern Manhattan.  Every year, the individualized services provided by Women’s Second Start give more than a hundred women and three hundred children the tools they need to break the pattern of domestic violence and start life anew – with joy.

To help more people like the M family find safety and joy, click here to support the work of the Center.