The following is a recent success story about a STARS client at Bronx Community Solutions.
Lana* has been a BCS client since 2008. Her criminal history involves several prostitution cases, with repeated failure to complete her court mandates. In February 2011 she became connected with Melissa, a BCS STARS program case manager. It was after this time that she began to make noticeable improvements in her willingness to engage with the program and avoid re-arrest. At the beginning of their work together, Lana reported feeling “lost,” a sentiment frequently expressed by girls and women involved in the life of working on the streets.
At one point recently, particular improvement was made with Lana. She contacted Melissa in a moment of crisis, as she was experiencing despondency to the extent of contemplating taking her own life. Melissa remained in close contact with her and encouraged her to keep coming in for counseling sessions. It was after this challenging period that she and Lana experienced a break-through moment, after which Lana renewed her efforts to take control of her life and escape violence. She has since completed all of her court mandates and is working toward independent housing. She has taken a big step recently, enrolling in a GED/Job Training program through the organization FEGS. Lana told Melissa that she is finally feeling “worthy of a life that's free of violence."
The dedicated attention that Melissa was able to provide for Lana helped her get through a crisis and make changes in her life that are hopfully putting her on a safer and more stable path.
*Name has been changed