Not everyone BRC serves has a long history of homelessness, and our goal is to keep it that way. Though their homelessness may be short-lived, their challenges may be still be great. At BRC, we tailor our services to meet the needs of the individual. This is Claire's story.
Claire was with us for less than 90 days, but what a busy time that was. Born in Gabon, Central Africa, 35 years ago, Claire immigrated to the United States in 1998. In 2000 she married, and lived in Queens with her husband for the past 6 years. That is until last fall, when she fled her home in fear of her husband, who physically abused her throughout their marriage. Entering the city's shelter system, Claire was referred to BRC's residence for homeless women on Lexington Avenue in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn. She arrived on October 17, 2006. Her goals were simple: to start a new life, find a home and a job to pay for it. She met frequently with staff, working aggressively to secure eligibility for benefits while she pursued employment options and looked for housing. With determination, and maybe some good fortune, too, she found the answer to her prayers in one place. While participating in Horizons, BRC's employment program, Claire found employment with a Home Health Aide agency, a profession with which she had experience. The agency was impressed by Claire's skill and warmth, and offered her a full-time, live-in position. Claire returned to BRC ecstatic: not only had she found a well-paying job, but a place to live, too, enabling her to save money in preparation for eventually finding an apartment of her own.
And so Claire began 2007 having reclaimed her life: free of abuse, free of homelessness, free of dependency on anyone but herself. And while Claire is neither homeless nor unemployed any more, she is a part of the BRC family. She's a BRC alumnus for life, and we will always be there for her.