Woman credits support, programs at shelter for hopeful future - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Woman credits support, programs at shelter for hopeful future

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Karen says years of abusive relationships led to drug and alcohol abuse. Sixteen months ago, she gathered up the strength to seek help at the Safe House for Women. Karen says years of abusive relationships led to drug and alcohol abuse. Sixteen months ago, she gathered up the strength to seek help at the Safe House for Women.
Bolin sees a positive future as she takes classes at Trendsetters Cosmetology School in Cape Girardeau. Bolin sees a positive future as she takes classes at Trendsetters Cosmetology School in Cape Girardeau.
Karen Bolin was four months pregnant when she reached out to the Safe House back in the summer of 2011. Karen Bolin was four months pregnant when she reached out to the Safe House back in the summer of 2011.
She spent more than a month there, and her transformation continues after the shelter. She spent more than a month there, and her transformation continues after the shelter.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) -

According to information provided by the Safe House for Women in Cape Girardeau, one fourth of all relationships include some type of violence.

The Safe House and other Heartland shelters offer immediate help to victims of domestic violence

But what happens after a woman gets up the courage to go to one?

Karen Bolin was four months pregnant when she reached out to the Safe House back in the summer of 2011.

She spent more than a month there, and her transformation continues after the shelter.

Bolin sees a positive future as she takes classes at Trendsetters Cosmetology School in Cape Girardeau.

She calls it a fresh start after years of pain.

Karen shows me photos of herself taken several years ago.

She appears much thinner with deep creases in her face.

"Really sad, hurt," Bolin said describing herself back then. "I think I had given up, at that point."

Karen says years of abusive relationships led to drug and alcohol abuse. Sixteen months ago, she gathered up the strength to seek help at the Safe House for Women.

"I didn't know what to expect, and it was unfamiliar," she recalled of her first few days at the shelter.

But, Karen quickly felt support, and quickly took advantage of the counseling and other services made available to her.

"I saw that there was a network of people that could definitely show me and guide and direct me," Bolin said.

"We do see hundreds of women through our outreach center every year," said Court Advocate and Case Manager Becky Holloway. "And we're able to connect them to resources they may need."

For Karen, that included help with school, medical, and even childcare needs when daughter Savannah came along.

"The outreach program helped with a crib and a bed for me, a stroller, diapers," she recalled.

The Safe House's new Executive Director Michelle Scherer hopes Karen's success highlights the programs anyone can access there, whether they spend one night in the shelter or not.

"It makes you appreciate all the various services that we provide," Scherer said. "And the fact that the outcome has been so positive for her, it's just very rewarding."

Transformations can take time. Karen Bolin's ready to share her new outlook, hoping to change others lives as she continues changing her own.

"If one person hears it that can relate and makes a decision to end the cycle in their life, it's worth it."

Karen will share her story at the Vintage Now Fashion Show, a fundraiser for the Safe House.

The show takes place Tuesday, October 30 at 7 p.m. at Cape's West Park Mall in the former Steve and Barry's location.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and some tickets will be available to purchase between then and show time.

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