Their Stories: Rocio Lopez

I first heard about My Safe Harbor when I received a Mother’s Club flyer at a parenting class at my son’s school. I went home and looked on the Internet and that’s where I first heard of the Strong Families Institute. It sounded very interesting and I wondered if it would be for me. I started attending Mother’s Club and asked about SFI. I wasn’t ready, but I kept coming to Mother’s Club and kept hearing more about it and how much they worked with each woman to make it possible. I finally decided that I should try it.

Unfortunately, just before a new group was forming, I found myself victim to domestic violence and some real trouble with my boyfriend. It was such a hard time for me. The good news is that I got help from MSH, the Justice Center, and Anaheim Harbor Family Resource Center. They all know each other and work together so well and it was very helpful. Things settled down and I was able to start with the next group.

SFI was SO much more than I thought it would be! I learned about myself and how much work I had to do on ME! There are so many phrases that we learned from our classes and even today I hear them in my head: Fail to plan, plan to fail; The only person I can change is me; You CAN do this; What do you want and what are you willing to do to get it?; and one of the best from the Financial Management section: Do I need this or do I just want this? Every session had something new and helpful.

My relationship with my boyfriend was still not good and just before the 4th quarter of SFI began, he left. With no warning I was alone with our son with no money, nothing. BUT, I went to my SFI group and immediately found support and help. I was not alone. I was not without resources. Not only did I finish SFI, but I felt like part of a family.

MSH has been my salvation, my life-saver. I’ve found a place to belong, a place to learn, a place to give of myself. I feel so good now. I understand myself much better and am not so hard on myself. I feel so alive and happy. I’ve learned to enjoy every moment and to look for things to learn even in the bad times. I have a place where I am valued and encouraged…and held accountable. At MSH they expect things from me because they love me and know I can do better.

I’m so grateful for people who believe in me and helped me to believe in myself. I’m dreaming of going back to school soon and someday working with children. God is not finished with me yet and I’m listening to Him and praying for direction in all I do.