Community Action Opportunities’ mission is, “ We help people who live on limited resources transform their lives.” Here, in Success Stories, we want to share customer empowerment stories to demonstrate the impact of the agency, inspire others to be change agents in their lives and community, and most importantly, celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and families willing to share their narrative.
Taking that First Step…
In April of 2020 I was homeless, in a relationship with someone who did not see my worth, and surrounded by trauma. I had no job, was stealing food, being thrown in jail for missing court dates, and the one thing that was worse than any other, my four children were taken the year before.
I was not putting the most important things in this world first, my children and myself. I was alone with no food, no phone and no hope. I asked God to forgive me. That night the Lord saved me. I slowly began my path to recovery. I packed my few belongings and asked my only friend to come and get me to escape my life of trauma, addiction and abuse.
In the next few months, I went through detox at Neil Dobbins and the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Treatment Center in Black Mountain for treatment. The pandemic was a benefit as it helped to stop time and allowed me the opportunity to get my life back on track. I was reaching out for resources and any support services that could help me on the journey.
Last October my domestic violence instructor for Safeworks, a collaborative partnership between Safelight and Community Action Opportunities (CAO), referred me to the CAO Life Works Program. Since enrolling in Life Works, I got my own apartment, even better employment and bought a better, more reliable minivan. I also enrolled in school at Blue Ridge Community College and I am just a week away from graduating with my certification in phlebotomy.
Most importantly I completed the requirements of my case plan with the Department of Social Services and been granted by the courts trial home placement with all of my children. I am able to continue on this journey gaining control over my life with the support of God, my church family, my Life Works Coach, the staff at Safelight, and the love and support from my family and friends. Strong powerful women who want me to succeed surround me.
Life Works has been the ultimate push that has gotten me this far. My Life Works coach wrote down my short-term goals and I have almost completed every single one of them. My Life Works coach is the first person I call if I need to make any important changes. I would not be so successful without God leading me to Life Works. I have created this amazing life to support all of my children and myself. I literally trusted God and took that first step. I am so grateful to have this awesome new life with so much support and so many resources. That is a great blessing.
Allyshia’s Life Works Coach, Carrie, said she has seen her take huge steps in creating a better life for her children and herself.
CAO Staff Reflections
“Allyshia has done the hard work to complete each one of her goals,” she said. “These goals included obtaining safe and affordable housing, gaining better employment and obtaining safe and reliable transportation. Then she attended and completed a certified training course. She is now a certified phlebotomist.
“She continued to work on the plan set for her to regain full custody of her children and she did! She has a beautiful family with her children now living in her home after more than 700 days in foster care. That is AMAZING! She has built a support system around her to help when challenges arise and has an amazing attitude that remains positive even when things do not go as planned,” said Carrie.
According to Carrie, “Allyshia is always happy and smiling. She has taken the necessary steps to improve herself and is continuing to work hard to create a happy, safe and loving home for her children. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Allyshia and supporting her on this journey. I am excited to continue working with and supporting her in building a future that she can be proud of.”
Community Action Opportunities
25 Gaston Street
Asheville, NC 28801