- Alyssa Howells
Finding a Home at Sarah's
Updated: Jan 3
*This story originally appeared on https://csjministriesfoundation.org. It was written by the Ministries Foundation.
The Ministries Foundation fundraises on behalf of Sarah's... an Oasis for Women.*
Meet Dorcas Macauley, a previous resident of Sarah’s... an Oasis for Women.
Dorcas first came to the United States in 2013 from Liberia, West Africa and was staying with extended family members, oftentimes sleeping on the floor of living rooms or on a couch that could be spared. She had very little privacy, missed the children she had left behind, and needed help navigating a new government system to obtain a work permit and her immigration status. She needed support to launch her new life in America and somewhere stable to live.
Tired from moving place to place to have a safe place to sleep, Dorcas finally connected with a Social Worker at the Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) and one of her prayers was finally answered: CVT found her a permanent place to stay at Sarah's... an Oasis for Women.
Sarah's guides you and gives peace of mind to forge ahead - you don't need to worry about food to eat, soap to use, the basic necessities needed to live. It takes a lot of burden away.
From the very first day, Dorcas felt at home at Sarah's and knew it was a place she could find peace and joy. While she was living there she learned how to use a computer, enrolled in classes at school, met a community of women who would become her close friends, but more importantly learned how to set goals with Sarah's Director, Cheryl Behrent. Cheryl taught Dorcas the importance of setting goals, why they matter, and how goals would help her achieve the dreams she had for her new life in the United States.
Immediately Dorcas set herself goals: re-unite her family with her in Minnesota, get a work permit and social security card, find a job, and get her immigration status. With hard work, dedication, and support from Sarah's, Dorcas consistently met her goals each month. With a new found confidence in herself, she enrolled in a work training course and became a manager of her department in less than two years. A job that would give her the stability and funds to allow her children to leave Liberia and join her in the United States. Something Dorcas had dreamed about from the beginning.
Since her children couldn't live with her at Sarah's, Cheryl helped Dorcas find a two-bedroom apartment where they all could live. Re-united with her children and living on her own, Dorcas continued to excel at work and started hiring other residents from Sarah's to work for her. She was even able to purchase her own home in 2019 and became a citizen of the United States. Goals and dreams that all happened because of Sarah's.
While Dorcas was at Sarah’s she received a Social Security number, re-united her children with her in Minnesota, bought her own home, and became a citizen of the United States. As Sarah’s supported Dorcas through her goals, Dorcas learned the importance of giving back to a community. When she was promoted at her job, she made it a priority to hire other women from Sarah’s to work for her. She encourages her daughters to set goals to ensure their futures will include all the opportunities she was afforded and more. Dorcas hopes to continue passing on the knowledge, support, and hope she received to others in need and give back to the community which she now belongs.
You educate a man, you educate an individual. You educate a woman, you educate a nation.