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"I used to cry because I didn’t know what was going to be next. Now I cry because I know what’s coming next."

nastashia, CTL Participant

Each time he hit her, Nastashia’s dreams shrank.   

Eventually, her only remaining hope was to escape.    

With only a few bags, Nastashia and the children left their abuser and managed to find a safe place to stay.   

Helplessness nearly consumed her. Completely alone with young children, Nastashia could not attend classes or find work. Without work, Nastashia could not pay rent. She was caught in a terrible catch-22 and facing homelessness. 

Fortunately, Nastashia found the Center for Transforming Lives, a 114-year-old non-profit agency specializing in anti-poverty work for low-income women with children. 

“Free child care has been a core component of CTL programming since the 1930s,” said CEO Carol Klocek. “With free child care, lower wage earners, women like Nastashia, can afford to enter the workforce and provide for their families.” 

Known for two-generation services, CTL not only cares for children so mothers can work, but the agency also provides clinical counseling to address the family's trauma, and economic mobility services that provide financial education, career coaching, debt reduction and asset-building for the mother's long-term success.    

With her children cared for in year-round, full-day educational programming, Nastashia is able to work full-time, attend classes, and become financially self-sufficient.  

If it wasn’t for CTL’s childcare program, I don’t know where I’d be,” Nastashia said.  

“I have a full-time job now… I used to cry because I didn’t know what was going to be next. Now I cry because I am overjoyed with happiness because I know what’s coming next.”  

Armed with a steady income and knowledge from CTL’s Economic Mobility courses, Nastashia began paying down debt, saving money, and working to build assets. Her financial stability ensures the family is financially secure for decades to come.  

“The next goal is home-ownership,” she brightly said.  

What once seemed impossible has become a reality – Nastashia’s family has moved from trauma, homelessness, and the instability of poverty towards prosperity. And along the way, Nastashia has built a safe, healthy and thriving family. And is now full of hope. 

You can help more moms and children break free from the cycle of poverty with a gift today. Your gift will provide safe housing, quality child care and education, and financial stability services for hundreds of women with children like Nastashia.