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Tika's Story

“My name is Tika. I grew up in Council Bluffs just off 38th Street near Playland Park. I am married with 7 children and I work as a Public Health Support Specialist at Family, INC. My life today is stable, purposeful, and fulfilling (although a little chaotic at times with 7 kids!) But my life wasn’t always this way. In fact, for most of my childhood, I did not know where my next meal would come from or where I would be sleeping at night.

At the age of 17, I was addicted to methamphetamine, had spent time in jail, and was pregnant. I was so afraid and ashamed, but I wanted a better life for my baby and wanted to be a better role-model for my 3 younger brothers. After getting out of jail, I got a job and an apartment with my boyfriend, and things were going well. Then one day we got a call from DHS telling us that my boyfriend was getting full custody of his 4 children. Soon after, we found out that we were expecting another baby. It was all happening so fast. In a matter of hours, we went from having 1 child under our roof to 5, with another on the way.

The holidays were right around the corner and we didn’t even have beds or clothing for the kids, much less any kind of gifts to celebrate the season. A friend told me about the New Visions Holiday Giveaway, and it was a Godsend. Just when I thought things were hopeless, New Visions stepped in and gave me hope. My kids were able to forget everything and just enjoy Christmas. Fast forward 2 years, and my husband and I had been doing well. We were working and keeping our heads above water. But last year in 2022, we needed New Visions once again. Shortly before the holidays, my husband had a work accident leaving us to get by on my income alone. We went to sign up for the Holiday Giveaway, and a caseworker said that they could help with our rent too since we were on the verge of being evicted. Not only did we get Christmas gifts, but we were helped with $1600 for rent. When were approved for the assistance I cried tears of relief for what felt like hours. Without this assistance, we would have been on the street with 7 kids. After so many systems failed us, we just needed ONE that would help us, and that place was New Visions.”

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