My name is Tareema Taylor and I wanted to take my time to tell my story and my experience with WomenFirst. I was introduced to the Shannon Olive when she worked as a Resident Service Coordinator in 2016 at the apartments where I currently resided, but I did not know she had a women’s organization until someone shared it with me. I saw Shannon at church and asked her if she could help me in September 2018, but prior to me seeking services from WomenFirst I had just been sentenced to 5 years of probation in June 2018. My child who was 6 ½ years old at the time was removed out of my care in November 2017.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane: my child’s father and I had been in a domestic violence relationship. There were numerous of calls made to Portland Police, we both had a record, and with the trauma I experienced I intentionally set his apartment on fire. In Oct. 2018 I was ordered by the court to complete a domestic violence group, attend mental health therapy, along with stimulation that was requested from DHS such as parent classes, neurologist brain testing, and other important test and reviews which will help determine my eligibility of reuniting with my son.
After court, I begin to work with my mentor (Shannon Olive) at WomenFirst who accepted every phone call I made and also the ones we agreed to, our scheduled appointments, assisted with advocacy, resources, follow-ups, a shoulder to cry on, and, don’t get me wrong, we had our days because there was times when I saw things my way, but Shannon was there to give me the truth and educate me how to approach things in a better way. On February 1st, I returned to meet with the judge to see what she was going to recommend. I can truly say that when I entered into the court I felt like a better person. I was prepared, dress to impress, a little nervous, but I felt secured about me this time than last time.
The judge was impressed and proud of my effort and my accomplishments. The judge told me to continue to meet my needs and within 60-90 days we can work on transitioning my son back home. When I met on March 13th for my Family Support Meeting again I was very nervous. The ending results of the meeting were, beginning on Sunday March 24th for two hours at my home, my son will be visiting me unsupervised.
A new beginning; I miss my son. I can honestly say to you without the support, love, and patience from WomenFirst understanding my trauma, I do not know how things would be for me and my son on this day. I urge you to make a donation and support the work of the organization so that can continue to impact the lives of women who are experiences or recovering from trauma.